The Saving One
I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me.The 5th April was Palm Sunday, when many Christians remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey: his ‘Triumphal Entry’. You might be familiar with the palm crosses often given out at services.
(Jonah 2: 2)
It is called ‘triumphal’, not because it was ‘triumphant’, but in reference to a Roman Triumph, a victory march to celebrate the success of a military leader. Julius Caesar had a Triumph in Rome after conquering Gaul.
But Jesus looked the very opposite of a great war hero with his band of followers, riding on a donkey.
When He arrived at Jerusalem, there was a great sense of expectation. What was he going to do?
The people believed that their long-promised ‘Messiah’, their God-appointed saviour, was going to drive the Romans from their land. That he was going to set his people free. After all, he had done some amazing things, so they shouted ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Save us!’ They were recalling Psalm 118:
Save now, I pray, O Lord;God answers our prayers, but not always in the way we expect, or how we might want. He looks at the bigger picture.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
(John 12:12, and Psalm 118: 25 and 26)
God’s bigger picture, as Jesus entered the city, was that the people had lost sight of him. They thought their problem was the Roman occupation, but really it was that they didn’t know God.
So, when the people were shouting for Jesus to ‘save’ them, that is exactly what he did.
Jesus’ name means, ‘The Lord Saves.’
When they shouted, ‘Save us!’ it was as if they were shouting his name.
In the week that followed, Jesus was betrayed to the authorities, suffered a mockery of a trial, was nailed to a cross and left to die.
As Peter, the disciple who denied him three times was later to write:
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God.In this difficult time, it is understandable if many of us are fearful or anxious, or even angry at God. But I encourage you to call out to him. In the darkest places, Jesus is the One who saves.
(1 Peter 3: 8)