When God has a different script

Posted on April 9, 2017 · Posted in Gospel

On Palm Sunday Jesus entered Jerusalem to cheering crowds. Five days later the same crowds shouted for his crucifixion. When Christ met the expectations of the crowd, he was their king. When he did not, they swore allegiance to Caesar.

How often does your heart replay this scene? When life follows the script that satisfies you, God is good and worthy of praise. But when God has written a different narrative, one that disappoints or brings pain, he becomes distant and praise is a stranger to your heart.

You cannot understand the purposes of God by listening to the praises of men, or to the desires of your flesh. Man’s praise is fickle. The affections of your flesh change in a heartbeat.

The Jewish crowds of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus with lavish praise on Sunday. They thought he would do what they wanted him to. It was thought the Christ would start a rebellion to rid the Holy Land of the pagan Romans and their harsh rule. But instead Jesus called for repentance. He preached about seeking the Kingdom of Heaven, not the kingdom of earth. He offered himself as the Son of God, according to Scriptures.

Christ offered freedom from the tyranny of sin. What the crowds wanted was freedom from the Romans. When it became clear Jesus would not meet their expectations the crowds that sang his praises on Palm Sunday screamed for his death 5 days later.

Guard your heart by loving what God says is worthy of praise.

On Sunday:

… A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

On Friday:

“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.