Day One: Jesus
On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time during His earthly ministry. The stage was set for the triumphal entry! City roads and alleyways were overwhelmed as multitudes awaited the arrival of Jesus, the Christ. The ground was adorned with palm branches and the streets echoed with singing: Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna means: save us or rescue us. However, as expectant as those songs may have been, they were not sung in anticipation for the type of kingship Jesus was entering. The people wanted a king who would overthrow the current government and save them from political oppression. Jesus came to accomplish much more: He came to give us eternal life and spiritual freedom.
With that in mind, there are two significant realities found in this text: one, we are desperately in need of a Savior, and two, Jesus comes to us (albeit unexpectedly).
Unlike the Israelites’ expectations, our salvation does not come through the government. Our salvation does not come through political policy, humanitarian deeds, or education. While those institutions are powerful, our desperate need is spiritual. Our faults, shortcomings, and inability to do only good all of the time reveals our deep need for rescuing. Despite our best attempts, humanity is crying out for redemption.
It doesn’t end with the awareness of our need, however. God, our loving Father, knew that even on our best days we would never achieve perfection. In light of that knowledge, He sent His Son, Jesus, to each of us. He came into your Jerusalem, took your sin upon Himself and, and as we’ll recount together this week, paid the penalty of sin for you.
Maybe you weren't expecting your freedom to come through Jesus. Maybe you were expecting it to come through your own resolve, self-help, counseling, or pills. Maybe you thought your freedom could be achieved through the right relationships, success, or accumulation of stuff. Nothing can achieve in your life what Jesus died to give you. He can make you fully alive: free from guilt, shame, bondage, and regret.
If you’re reading this, and you’ve never accepted the free gift of God’s grace through Jesus, I want to invite you to pray a simple prayer. Simply say this: Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I know that you are the Savior. I ask You to forgive all my sins and remove all my shame. I invite You to come into my heart and be the Lord of my life. And I’ll follow You, all my days, from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” What area(s) of your life do you need to invite Jesus to step in to?
Do you ever find yourself striving to grow closer to God by your works alone? How does the truth shared in this devotional challenge that way of thinking?