12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey's colt!"
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. - John 12:12-16 ESV
Think: From the start of the story of Jesus being born in a manger to the day we celebrate today, Jesus' ministry and popularity have come to its peak with his triumphal entry. As we read the gospels, we see the progression of Jesus' ministry and popularity come to a climax with his triumphal entry.
It was like a red carpet celebration. People laid down their coats and palm branches while praising him, and the city was stirred up. The word we translate into "stirred up" meant the same thing as the power of an earthquake! The Pharisees exclaim, "Look, the world has gone after him" (Jn. 12:19). A lot of people followed Jesus. A lot of people believed.
But the story doesn't end there. God has a much bigger ending planned. It's hard to believe that within a week, Jesus would be tried and crucified. The crowds would turn and against him demand a detestable criminal be released instead of Jesus. What happened?
What made the crowds turn on Jesus?
The crowds were following a man who healed the sick and performed miracles. It seemed like Jesus had the whole world at His command (He did but not the way the people imagined He did. But shortly Jesus' grand entrance into Jerusalem, He became more and more a source of controversy. He overturned tables in the temple and drove people out with a whip; he spoke in confusing parables and talked about dying.
The people started doubting Jesus, and the Pharisees just got madder and madder at Jesus. Their promised king wasn't supposed to die; he was supposed to conquer the Roman Empire and be, well, a king. They had an idea of what God was going to do and how he was going to do it, and Jesus didn't meet their expectations.
We all have tried to put God inside a box. We predict how he's going to move in certain situations, and when God doesn't do things the way we want, our faith can get a little shaky.
The question is, will we be faithful when God doesn't show up the way we want him to?
Is there a time you were disappointed with God?
How did you work through that?
Pray for a growing faith for yourself, your family, the community, and people all over the world. Pray for a faith that believes even when nothing around us makes sense.