Each year, during Holy week, I re-read the true story of what Jesus went through during the days before His crucifixion.
One of the things that always amazes me is that a group of people welcomes Him by laying down palm branches and even pieces of clothing; but within seven days, they’re chanting for Him to be crucified.
Jesus disappointed them. They thought He was coming as a political savior and so gave Him a conquering hero’s welcome. But He didn’t do what they wanted—to get them out from under Rome’s powerful control.
And still He died for them, though He knew they simply wanted Him for their own gain.
I wonder how many of us have been where these people were.
Disappointed because it seems God didn’t answer our prayer the way we expected.
Disillusioned because God didn’t heal our loved one.
Saddened because we think God didn’t keep up His end of some deal we made.
Upset because we feel like God left us to figure out a challenging situation on our own.
I’ve been there.
And the thing is, that’s exactly where the devil wants us to stay.
Down, overwhelmed, anxious, hopeless, cynical, disenchanted.
But God knows.
He’s not somewhere unobtrusively watching us muddle through life. He doesn’t disconnect Himself and take His hands off right when situations grow difficult.
Maybe we do to ourselves what the people of Jesus’ day did. One day shouting “Hosanna” and the next day shaking a fist at the One who knows and understands.
Perhaps we have preconceived notions of what a life spent believing in God looks like. Do we put God on a pedestal when everything’s good only to remove Him when He doesn’t act the way we think He should?
That’s another one of the devil’s tactics. Make us think we know better than God. The attitude the enemy entices us with makes us want to metaphorically take our ball and go home if God doesn’t play by our rules.
But Jesus didn’t come to play by the rules of the Romans or the Pharisees or the Sadducees or anyone else.
He came to experience life’s hardships, to share our pain, to bring comfort to the weary.
Just not in the expected way.
He came to face the cross.
The worst form of death at that time.
He came to give life.
Only not the type everyone thought.
He came to die.
So that we could live.
The people of Christ’s time wanted a savior, and we want rescuing as well.
Jesus is the only Savior who ever took the punishment for our sin so that we could have a real, life-giving relationship with God.
Jesus is the only One who pointed to God throughout His entire life, death, and resurrection so that we could come to the Father with our hurts, disappointments, and fears.
Jesus is the only Redeemer who provided a way so we could have the Spirit of God live within us. Now we never have to be alone or go through hardships alone.
Jesus humbled Himself to the point of death and gave us the chance to humble ourselves before God, admit we need Him, concede that we don’t know everything, and trust Him with all of life.
I hope you are able to spend some time with God today thanking Him for His great love for you. Here are a few verses to help you give to God your anxieties, fears, concerns, and whatever else you’re feeling today to God.
2 Corinthians 5:15
1 Peter 3:18
Photo credits: Unsplash Aaron Burden, Amir Arefi
After years of living under lies and fear, I have found truth and victory in God.