We are, indubitably, a fickle people.
We run from one thing to another, to whatever we think, in the moment, will save us.
Or, to whatever the world tells us will save us.
The flaw in this is that we think we possess the knowledge to know what will save us in any given moment.
We want salvation in the form of a larger bank account. We want salvation in a new president; and preferably one that stands for the things we think are important. We want salvation in the form of the latest movement. The latest trend. The latest skin care product.
Or, the flashiest, most sensational “thing” we can grasp.
Take Easter, for example. We brand it. We market it. Some churches dress it up; try to “out-do” last year’s service. And yet, isn’t the resurrection something we should remember every. single. Sunday.?
And, in a way, isn’t that what the crowd was doing on Palm Sunday?
We read the story in John 12–often sub-titled “The Triumphal Entry” (even that word….”triumphal”….good grief)
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
They waved their palm fronds, and laid them in the street, and cried out in a frenzy, for salvation. In the words of the Pharisees, “Look, the world has gone after him.”
There was nothing wrong with their words, per se. “Hosanna” is a beautiful word. It was originally used as an interjection of appeal for deliverance and used in praise of the deliverer. A word that should be shouted at the sight of Jesus.
It was their understanding that was wrong.
It was what they were chasing after that was wrong. They were not longing for salvation of their very souls, but salvation from their circumstances.
What they did not–could not–know in those frenzied streets was that this God-man they were prodding, begging, pleading, hoping would become King of Israel and topple the Roman Government was actually setting His face toward death for their souls. Death as the only acceptable sacrifice for their sins.
They were, o, so short-sighted. And fickle.
Because their cries of “Hosanna” quickly turned into “Crucify Him”. Not even a week later. Not even a week later. Not even a week later.
Am I not also like the crowd? Do I not also seek after a substitute-salvation? Do I not also turn to Christ and dictate what I want Him to look like, how I want Him to save me, what I want this thing called “being a disciple” to look like?
And then, when following Christ does not look the way I want it to look, am I not just as quick to turn away? Even in spite of the fact that I have a tremendous advantage over those who lined the streets on that day so long ago, because I sit on this side of history, with scripture that they did not have. Scripture that tells me of the purpose for His death. And beyond that, the purpose of His resurrection. They did not know these things. I do, and yet I still am so quick to turn away.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.
Prone to wander, when really it is “Hosanna!” that I should be shouting. “Hosanna, Lord, deliver me. Deliver us.”