As I began my morning, seeing an almost full moon and knowing what that represents this week, I began thinking about what happened a little over two thousand years ago today, Good Friday. Once again the question drifted in my thoughts…What If…..and here is what I saw…
I could see the dusty road and a gate that led into the city. I saw a Man sitting upon a donkey riding into the city with throngs of people with palm fronds shouting, “Hosanna, Hosanna to the Highest”. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and hope that the man coming in would save their world. The man came in, cleansed the temple in Jerusalem and set about teaching and healing people for three days in full site of all. Then I saw how this very morning, this very day a little over two thousand years ago this same Man was brought before the same people and they asked for His crucifixion. I saw when Peter exclaimed that he would go wherever Jesus did and how he cut the ear off of the servant “protecting” Jesus. Then I was taken back to the mother of the sons of Zebedee and how she had requested that her sons sit at His right and left hand, a place of prominence in His new kingdom. And understanding all of a sudden dawned upon me in that moment. It was like the sweet soft voice of the Holy Spirit opening my eyes and I understood:
The people expected Jesus to save their world or actually just their current situation. They felt abandoned and unloved by the very one they had put their hope in; but their hope was short sighted. They only looked at what was happening here in this moment and wanted salvation for their current situation without seeing a bigger picture. So the same people who had shouted “Hosanna” fully expected Jesus to save them from their current situation of Roman Rule; and to set up the temple and their land under Israel’s authority once again but with Him as King. Jesus did none of this; instead He was captured by the Romans, beat and now stood before them as what appeared to be just a man that was not going to do anything they expected to save them from their current predicament.
They were not focused
on salvation for eternity;
they were focused
on the human idea of
salvation from their
All of a sudden I could understand why the same people that shouted Hosanna now shouted crucify Him. In so many ways, do we not do the same today? We have these expectations, these demands in which we cover with “God promised”. When it doesn’t happen the way we thought it should we go in search to find the reason why God didn’t perform the way we think He should. Whatever the situation: healing, protection or our current situation that we don’t like and He doesn’t perform the way we think He should. We either get angry with Him or with ourselves. The people back then, had promises from scripture about what would happen when their Savior appeared. There were numerous expectations of what Jesus would do when He entered the gate to Jerusalem the week of Passover. So when it didn’t go the way the people thought it should they turned on Him because they didn’t see the full picture. Little did they know the very scriptures they were focused on told a story that was even better and bigger. They were not focused on salvation for eternity; they were focused on the human idea of salvation from their current circumstance.
His LOVE for us is
than our behavior
We are the same today in many ways. We take scripture and we demand that God perform for us a certain way and if He doesn’t somehow we make that about Him not loving us—usually it comes down to our behavior. But see it has NOTHING to do with our behavior; because if we go back and look at what happened all those years ago today we see a very different story. Even with the people who had first shouted Hosanna then shouted crucify if it had been about our behavior then I think God would have said, “Hey Son, I am taking this cup from you because you see those peeps…they just aren’t worth our sacrifice.” Instead though, Jesus followed through with the plan set for all time whether or not we deserved or not. His LOVE for us is BIGGER than my behavior. For me the full picture is that I am already healed, already whole, already will live forever, already righteous, already holy. This is the place I live from because Jesus saw the total picture over two thousand years ago and saw ME. I am thankful that He didn’t simply perform for the people then and there because then you and I would not have benefitted.
A couple weeks ago as my friends and I talked about my blogs and life, one of them said, “What if it is just about salvation?”. Everyone paused and I smiled because that is the BIGGER PICTURE. This is what He came to do and did successfully. Salvation means we will live forever with God, eternal life. When we look at the bigger picture we have hope. Not hope in just one moment but hope for eternity. Jesus Himself never promised sparkles and easy times. Nope. He did promise that we like Him would have to pick up our cross daily and deal with hardships, pain, loss, and death. Because He understood and knew we live in a fallen world. But death, sickness and pain no longer has a bite because of Him and He sent a Helper to be with us always through all these things. Healings, raising from the dead, miracles are awesome; but they are not why Jesus came. I think too many times the church has swung the pendulum too far in one direction and are so focused on healings and miracles that they have forgotten the true gospel and the reason why Jesus came to earth. We, just like the men and women two thousand years ago who shouted Hosanna and then crucify, have promises we take from scripture and then when it doesn’t go the way we think it should we turn on ourselves or others turn on us saying things like: Oh you don’t have enough faith, you must have sinned somewhere, or God must be mad at you. We immediately think there is something wrong with us or we get mad with God for not performing the way we think a loving God should without ever asking God what is the bigger picture. What if it is only about salvation? What if the healings, the miracles are all to point to Jesus, our Salvation? What if all things miraculous are to lead us to the biggest miracle of all time, Jesus? Like Paul said in his letter to the Romans:
‘But what does it say? ” the word is near you , in your mouth and in your heart “-that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, ” whoever believes in him will not be disappointed .” ‘ Romans 10:8-11
It is simple, God loves you and He wants to be a part of your life, forever. He made a way through His Son for you to be righteous so you can be a part of His family, forever. He wants to live inside of you from now until…forever. Death will not have a bite any more and in this you will simply live forever. No matter what happens to me in this current life I have my relationship in tact with my Heavenly Father, FOREVER. It is really about faith which means you simply trust Him when the going gets tough or when it is going great, no matter what your circumstances look like. Trusting that He loves you and has the best for you already accomplished (even when it doesn’t line up with the way you think it should look like), which truly is salvation. Whether I am healed or not healed, whether I am surrounded by troubles or not, whether I am facing horrible circumstances or not, whether I am facing death or not I trust that He has the best for me because He has already given His best for me two thousand years ago upon that rugged cross where He took my place and set His love on display for the world to see. This is the bigger picture which deserves our focus because it really is the only thing that matters.