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Is Jesus the Savior We Want? (A Reflection on Palm Sunday)

Is Jesus the Savior We Want? (A Reflection on Palm Sunday)

Eric Weiner

A word I see being thrown around on every corner of the internet and in every news outlet and social media platform right now is “uncertain.” Everything is uncertain. As a nation, as a community, as a family, maybe you feel the disorientation. And rightfully so. But I want to shift gears with you, if just for a moment.



If you are able to, try putting all the news about COVID-19 on hold, just for a moment, and follow me here: What would you say is the most memorable event of your life? Something good. A moment that has no justifiable comparison. This is the most glorious, most worthwhile experience you can imagine.

What made it so significant? What have been its unfolding implications on your life? Did it exceed expectations?

Now imagine with me, for a moment, the magnitude of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Imagine being among the crowd of people praising, in loud voices, His arrival: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” (Lk. 19:30)!

And why not us? We’re commendable people. We’re as devoted to the Lord as anyone. Certainly, we’re the kind of people who would be excited to see the promised Messiah rise to power. Surely, we’d be ecstatic about the One who comes to deal with our biggest problems; to address our greatest needs.

But Jesus hasn’t come to be the Savior of our own making. He’s come to be the Savior the Father promised we needed. Meaning, Jesus doesn’t deal with our problems as we see them. He deals with them as the Father sees them.

If you only look at the headline summaries that follow Jesus’ triumphal entry in Luke’s account, you’d be astonished. Maybe their world was as bleak as we now find ours. It’s not at all what you expect from a triumphing King. Listen to this: Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. Jesus’ authority is challenged. Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple, of wars and persecution, the destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus is betrayed, arrested, falsely accused, crucified, and killed.

What?! The strong King appears feeble? The Promised One, the one who destined our peace, succumbed to the corruption of world powers?

If appearances are as important as we make them out to be, then this looks like a disaster. This was our guy. Shouldn’t we be embarrassed? Were we wrong to put all of our eggs in one basket?

Maybe.

Or maybe it was us who missed something. Maybe we had praised the King, hoping He would prioritize our priorities. Maybe we sought to exalt Him as our Savior because we thought He would deliver a future of our own making. But in reality, He delivers a future for us of God’s own making.

If we’re honest, we would never desire the things of God apart from His kind intervening. Even right words can be said with a misunderstanding heart. But no matter. God will be glorified. If not us, then the stones will do it (Lk. 19:40).

What follows Jesus’ triumphal entry is His judgement of the spiritual condition of Jerusalem’s leaders, which reminds me of the parable Isaiah told to the leaders of Israel before their impending exile:

“My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.”

Isaiah 5:1-2

In the parable, the owner of the vineyard had done everything necessary to ensure growth. In fact, by mere appearances you would think prosperity was on the horizon. Yet the kind of fruit that grew was repugnant. The question is why? Who’s to blame? There are only two options. Fault is either to be given to the owner or to the vineyard. But what more could the owner have done? The text practically gushes over his wise and careful oversight.

And as we consider the spiritual parallels, can’t we safely say that God has been busy on our behalf? Aren’t His spiritual evaluations of us spot on? If your answer is yes, then perhaps you’re beginning to see the utter beauty of this triumphant King. Yes, Jesus invites us to draw near, asking us to face our sin with brutal honesty. And we can do this knowing that we are no longer beyond repair. Let it be known: Jesus triumphs over sin!

So, when we look to the Savior who shows His power through restraint, who displays His grandeur through humility, we shouldn’t recoil. We should perk up because it means we’re beginning to see Him for who He came to be.

What can’t our rescuing God do? Is anything too great for Him?

So, as we come to God today in great need, let us come boldly praising Him for giving us the Savior we need!

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