How many of you like the “Memories” feature on FaceBook? I love it!
Sometimes I don’t remember what was going on, but today when I saw my FaceBook memory from a year ago, I remember exactly what was happening. My friend had just flown in from Texas the night before, and there had been a bad storm. There was a lot in my life that was uncertain.
I knew my God, and I knew that although everything was uncertain, He was God, and He was faithful. That didn’t stop me from saying to my friend at dinner the night before “from the outside, my God doesn’t look very all powerful, and faithful right now.” I knew He was, but I was definitely thinking about how God looked from the “outside”.
Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant. Genesis 9: 14-15
God knew I said it too, of course He did, He is God. And the next morning God painted the sky with 4 rainbows for me. Yes, 4 separate rainbows. He knew I loved them, and it was so typically Him. It was if He was saying “I remember my promise”.
Yes, I was stuck in a sea of uncertainty. I would assume that I looked like a fool for following God’s call on my life, a God who probably looked weak… .kind of like Jesus probably looked as He took His last breath on the cross.
As I look back now, I realize how ridiculous that sounds, because no matter what my circumstance looks like doesn’t change the character and faithfulness of God.
But that is where I was at. Knowing He was good and faithful, but also realizing my situation looked pretty hopeless, and almost laugh worthy.
I was reading about Jesus’ triumphal entry the other day. He was riding into Jerusalem for Passover, on a donkey. Usually a successful “king” would ride into town on a horse. He would be followed by some really powerful people, after defeating the enemy. He would be praised, and this would be a celebration.
But here is Jesus, coming into Jerusalem on a donkey, and He wasn’t surrounded by what the world would call “powerful people”. It was His followers that were shouting His praise, as some of the religious leaders tried to get Him to rebuke them for the praise they were giving Him.
On top of that, there had been no victory as of yet. At least, the type of victory that would bring on such a celebratory event.
What did jesus do?
Things probably didn’t look so good right here. I have to wonder what the people who would be noted as “powerful” would be thinking, and if the scene looked like a joke to some of them. I wonder if they were thinking “What is this fool doing?” riding to Jerusalem on a donkey, getting praise from ordinary people.
And I have to wonder what our heart posture is, when “things don’t look so good”. What I do know is that our posture should reflect how Jesus responded in situations like this. However I have never actually caught how Jesus responded here until recently.
First, what I will tell you is that it was not my response when things didn’t look so good last year. However, if we want to live like Jesus lived, we need to look at how Jesus lived. We need to hear what He says, watch what He does, and then do that ourselves.
Jesus was not thinking that things didn’t look good, that He was riding into town on a donkey, that His praise was coming from ordinary people, and when some of the Pharisees were telling Him to rebuke His followers.
See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
He knew what was happening. He knew that their “Hosanna” would quickly turn into “Crucify Him”. And He knew He was heading to His victory.
But when the Pharisees tried to get Him to rebuke His followers, do you know what He did?
He wept. He was weeping in mourning for the lost, and because He knew the path to peace, and He knew that so many wouldn’t choose that path. Because He knows the end of the story.
He knows that our fate will either be eternal darkness, or eternal life. And He wept because He knows there will be people in eternal darkness. And even so, He knew that victory indeed would be His, even as He was heading to the cross.
If you only knew…
Jesus was way more concerned with the fact that they were lost and the broken, than He was about how they viewed Him, especially those who would continue to reject Him. He wept for them. I wonder if He was thinking “If they only knew what was ahead… if they only believed… ”
So I have been reflecting on a few things that I want to share with you. Do I have a heart posture that reflects the confidence of knowing that death has been defeated? And do I live my life in that confidence? Like I know the end of the story? Like I know what will happen? I have to be honest, that sometimes I don’t.
Am I concerned about the fate of the lost and the broken? Am I weeping for the people that say “what good is God anyway?”, for the ones that don’t know the path to peace?
Is this bringing me to tears? Because it brought Jesus to tears.
If we know what Jesus says is true, we will live our lives differently. We would be like the “ordinary” people, praising the One who would go to the cross to die for our sins, believing in the One who deserves the praise before the victory.
So here is my prayer for us. That when we fall into the trap of thinking that “things don’t look so good”, that we remember who God is. Because He is the God of victory. That we remember that we know the end of the story. And when we see the brokenness in the world, may we weep, just as Jesus did.