On each of the Sundays of Lent, we have been looking at God’s grace. Trying to better understand this precious gift that God has bestowed upon us. Today we transition to the beginning of Holy Week. In this, the final week of Jesus’s earthly sojourn, we prepare to remember and experience the fullness of the Gospel’s promise for eternal life.
The Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday. It is a Sunday that marks Jesus’s final entrance into the city of Jerusalem. During that time many of the inhabitants of the city and some of those who had gathered for the Passover celebration greeted Jesus. They threw palms at his feet and cried out hosanna. They believed that he would usher in a new earthly reign governed by God’s chosen ruler. What the people failed to understand was that God’s plan would not look like they desired.
The contrast between Jesus’s entrance on Palm Sunday and what happened at the end of the week is quite remarkable. But we will look at that in a few days time.
What is the focus of our consideration today is that often times we make assumptions about how God will work in our lives and in our midst. These are assumptions grounded in our own desires rather than God’s wisdom. The circumstances of life can cause us to cry out to God for relief and in the process blinds us to the reality that God’s character will not change. For some, this may be a point of discouragement. But for me, I find it reassuring, that God will maintain his integrity in order to remain faithful to his character.
These are important ideas as we look at Jesus’s entrance. The people had made up their minds regarding what they wanted to see Jesus do. But God was not swayed by what can only be described as a shortsighted understanding of what was needed. The temporary reign of an earthly king does not compare to the eternal victory of the Son of God. So while Jesus entered Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday in a far more humble posture than would be expected of a king, his purpose would not be thwarted by the misconceptions of those who received him.
I think one of the important lessons we can take away from Palm Sunday is recognizing how God will accomplish his purposes in the world. And even more vital to our faith is understanding how God will accomplish his will in our lives. That God can hold these realities without causing contradiction or catastrophic collapse of his plan is so mind-scramblingly astounding I cannot articulate it properly.
So as we enter into this Holy Week, I encourage you to remember we can trust in God’s goodness to accomplish his perfect will. We may not always understand how he will do it. We can simply know that he will. God has never failed to accomplish that which he has promised. And I do not believe that he will begin now.