Light Palms, Heavy Burden

Palm Sunday.  The expectant people lined the streets, praising Jesus and quoting from Psalm 118 when he was approaching in peace.  The people knew He was the Messiah, the sent one, the one coming to save them. Thus, they shouted Hosanna! which means “Save us, now!” They were right to notice He was the long-awaited one and to praise Him as such. The problem was that their light and flippant praise did not take into consideration that His kingdom was an altogether different one than they expected. As a result of these missed expectations, their praises faded quickly into shouts of “Crucify him!” in a matter of days. We are not unlike them; our praise quickly turns cold and bitter when our expectations are not met in our way, when His plan for our best does not line up with our desires for what we think would be best.

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As I thought about what it may have felt like for Jesus to ride in through the praises of the people He would willingly die for in a matter of days, I was blown away at His patience, His resolve, His quiet suffering. They cheered His approach with a light and airy joy, but He alone knew He was marching on to His death.

What kind of King?

A King approaching in peace,
In humility He rode on,
Onlookers cheering him,
Expecting a new dawn.

The Scriptures foretold it,
Yet none of them could see,
The dawn would begin with
The God-Man hung on a tree.

The Messiah was coming,
To bring His kingdom to bear;
Of the coronation of tears,
None but He was aware.

“Hosanna! Save us now!” they cried,
As hopes and palms were raised.
“Finally the kingdom’s come,
May Jesus’ name be praised!”

He heeded not their fanatical cries,
For He full knew the heart of men,
From “Crown Him” to “Crucify,”
The voices would be raised again.

They didn’t catch the painful truth,
As they joyfully recited the song,
“Bind the sacrifice to the altar,”
But Jesus knew that they were wrong.

For no cords would be needed;
The lamb was already being led,
With full awareness and submission.
In a week, the King would be dead.

Yet with a tender fierceness,
The King approached the throne,
Knowing the crowds would leave him,
Knowing He must die alone.

With light palms they danced
Around this coming King,
Not knowing the weight He felt,
The heaviness this week would bring.

Yet with the peace of a true King,
He marched on towards the hill,
For the Joy that was set before Him,
For the curse He’d silence and still.

What kind of King is this?
Who is this that we serve?
The King who died to bring us
The Kingdom we don’t deserve.

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