As I stepped outside this morning I immediately noticed the warm air, and the cloudless sky. I had to squint a bit in the bright sun. I found myself thinking as I got out of my truck at the office that it was warm today. Almost hot. And my first thought was almost disappointment because I wasn’t ready for hot weather.
Then I did a double take. Wait a second. Am I actually whining to myself that it’s TOO HOT? Really?
Last week I was complaining about the cold weather. This Sunday’s predicted high is 33 degrees. And today I’m complaining about the heat. Wow. What does that say about me? I’m sure I’m not the only one that has thought that.
Why is it that we complain when it’s cold, then complain when it’s hot?
I’m reminded of a Sunday morning about 2000 years ago. We call it Palm Sunday. It’s the day that Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on the back of donkey. As the King of the Jews rode slowly, the people went before him chanting “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:13). Laying palm branches down on the ground, they made a sort of “Red Carpet” for their king, coming to save them.
It was about seventy years earlier, in 63 BC that the Roman General Pompei conquered Jerusalem. The Jews hated their Roman oppressors, and the puppet ruler over them, Herod. They desperately wanted for their long-awaited Messiah to come and liberate them from Rome. They prayed for the day that Israel would be a sovereign nation again, and when Jesus came into town as the Messiah that day, the crowds cheered wildly for him. THIS was the Messiah! He had come to save them!
But it was only a few days later that Jesus would be arrested as he was praying in a garden. After a long night of questioning by the authorities, he was sentenced to death. Beaten, whipped, and brutally nailed to a cross, he was hung between two thieves. He died a humiliating criminal’s death.
So much for the dreams of the Jewish people, huh? They had such high hopes in this man.
It’s amazing how fickle the human heart really is. It was only a few days earlier that they were cheering him on. It was only a few days earlier that he could do no wrong. It was only a few days earlier they were rejoicing in how wonderful he was, and how God had blessed them.
Now they were cursing at him spitting at him, throwing rotten vegetables as he carried his cross to the site of his execution.
I’ve always wondered what I would have done if I were there. Would I have been in the crowd cheering “Crucify him!”? Or would I have cried as I watched the Messiah give his life to pay for my sins?
The good news is that Jesus died on the cross, THEN he rose from the dead after three days in the tomb. It’s the resurrection that proves that Jesus is the Messiah, and that God accepted this sacrifice on our behalf. It’s because he rose that we know that anyone that calls on the name of Jesus is saved, declared righteous and holy before God.
I’m so glad that Jesus died, and rose for me. May I never forget that, may I never lose sight of that. May I never take that for granted.