Save Us! Thoughts From Palm Sunday
“And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.” – Matthew 21:19
When the people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem, they shouted “Hosanna!” which means “Save us!” They wanted Jesus to save them from Roman rule. They saw him as the one who would overthrow the government and put them in the majority. Their expectation was in whom they wanted him to be – a god of their own design – instead of who he actually was: a savior for all time.
Because they were fashioning their own god, they were disappointed, angry, and violent when he failed to meet their expectations.
Palm Sunday is always a reminder to me to check myself and the expectations I’m placing on the Lord. Am I expecting him to deliver me when instead he wants me to walk through a valley with him so I can identify with others’ pain and point to him? Am I expecting him to save me from a hardship when instead he wants me to grow through it and experience his provision? Am I expecting him to answer my prayer ASAP when instead he wants me to patiently wait so I can build the endurance I’ll need when he says it’s time to run?
Whenever I fashion a Jesus of my own making, I will be disappointed, angry, and raise my fist to him each and every time – like the those who waved palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!” – because he will fail to meet my expectations. My expectations are so limited – I just see myself, my hopes, my desires, my pain, my anger. Jesus sees beyond, for all humanity, and acts so that all may know him. The real Jesus is way better than the Jesus I create. His justice, his mercy, his compassion, his kindness, his grace, his sacrifice, is so much more than I could ever craft. It’s for all of us for all time.
I’m very grateful for Jesus’ forgiveness of my sinful ways, his patience with me as he gently pries my hands off things and gives me opportunities to trust, and how he covers me with his grace. I truly do need him to save me.