“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
In Jesus’ day, as we do today, everybody wanted something from him. In particular, the mob in Jerusalem wanted Jesus to lead them, not in forgiveness and love, but to war. Though Jesus said, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword,” and “Love your enemies,” it was as if people had mufflers on their ears. They thought, “If Jesus would just rise up and fight, we could be rid of these Romans today!”
So, Jesus gets on a donkey, and that’s important. He didn’t ride a horse because that’s a war animal, but a donkey, a symbol of peace. As he enters Jerusalem, everybody is thrilled, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Then five days later, this same group shouted, “Crucify him!”
How does that happen? How do they turn so quickly from praise to anger? The answer is this: He didn’t deliver what they wanted, when they wanted it, the way they wanted it. They wanted him to destroy Roman control, but Jesus wanted to transform them. Of all the people that wanted something from Jesus, the ones that Jesus seemed to like the most were the ones that wanted to be forgiven – the sinners, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the thieves. Why? Because they actually wanted what Jesus wanted to give to them – the healing power of forgiveness and love.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I want what you want for me. Please forgive me. Please heal me. Please love me. I love you. Amen.
REFLECTION: Describe a time when you wanted something that you later realized was not what the Lord wanted for you.