Life of Jesus Christ
Submitting Our Circumstances to the King: A Powerful Lesson from Palm Sunday
Mar 31, 2018

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At her coronation, Queen Victoria wore a crown encrusted with thousands of precious gems, pearls, and diamonds. She held a scepter capped with a 530-carat diamond. These extravagant symbols proclaim majesty, glory, and power—the characteristics of a king. Through these symbols, monarchs confirm and demand authority.

But on Palm Sunday, at the earthly coronation of the King of all kings, this kind of opulence was markedly absent. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, He followed not the ways of the world, but the perfect plan of His heavenly Father—coming not in wealth, but poverty; not in splendor, but humility; not in grandeur, but meekness.

When we set our hopes on our present circumstances, we are in danger of rejecting our King should He fail to deliver according to our earthly expectations.

Perhaps that is why our culture doesn't take Him seriously; we focus on the temporal instead of the eternal. But it was through His humble obedience to the Father that Christ demonstrated His authority as King of kings—a righteous model of true submission to God no matter the circumstances. Are we missing the big, eternal picture like Israel did on that first Palm Sunday?

On Palm Sunday, the crowds of Jerusalem expected Jesus to overthrow their Roman oppressors and secure a crushing victory. They envisioned a conqueror who would utterly transform their circumstances. They could not see how, through death, Jesus would crush the head of the serpent. They could not see that Christ came this time not to slay His enemies, but to save His children—not to squeeze surrender out of His subjects, but to graciously invite them to come to Him. So, while on Sunday the crowds shouted, "Hosanna! . . . Blessed is the King of Israel!" by Friday they were crying, "Crucify Him!" (John 12:13 and Luke 23:21).

Two thousand years later, millions of people in our culture are making the same mistake. Many of us are interested in Jesus because we believe He can give us physical healing, economic prosperity, and freedom from difficulty right now. But when we set our hopes on our present circumstances, we are in danger of rejecting our King should He fail to deliver according to our earthly expectations.

You and I will experience hardship in this life. Satan and sin are still at large in this broken world, and those who follow Christ are promised both trouble and persecution (see John 15:18-21; 16:33). At times, we may be tempted to think that God is not there, not sovereign, not reigning. But God is there with us (see Psalm 139:7-10; Matthew 28:20). He is sovereignly writing your story. Even now, He is bringing good out of the evil that has happened to you. For this is how He works for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (see Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20). He will take the awful events that Satan meant for evil and turn them around, bringing eternal good out of them. That's what He does. That's how good He is.

Perhaps you are currently experiencing your own Gethsemane, crying out like Jesus, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me" (Luke 22:42). Will you submit to your faithful God even in the valley, saying, "Yet not my will, but yours be done"?

Even when God doesn't act as you think He should—even when you lose your job, your ministry, your spouse, a loved one—He is for you, He will never leave you, and He is yet worthy of your worship (see John 3:16; Hebrews 13:5; Lamentations 3:21-24).

Jesus is still King. He is with you in the valley and will carry you through to a glorious future. In fact, He has delivered you from your most desperate circumstance: eternal separation from Him. Your sovereign, loving King will make all things new (see Revelation 21:5). Let that Truth fill you with fearlessness and great hope.

Come to Him now and receive His peace and joy, regardless of your past or present circumstances. His resplendent Kingdom is forever; our suffering is for a moment (see 2 Samuel 7:16; 2 Corinthians 4:17). You can face tomorrow because He reigns.



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