Every year, our church celebrates Palm Sunday, the day when the crowds cheered Jesus as He entered Jerusalem for the last time. But I've never understood why they turned against Him just a few days later and demanded He be put to death. Why did they?
One reason the crowds turned against Jesus was because He refused to be the kind of king they wanted—a political and military leader who would free them from the hated Roman government. Roman soldiers had occupied their land for decades, and they hoped Jesus would lead them in a successful revolt.
But Jesus made clear to them that this was not His goal. God had another purpose for Him—and that purpose was far greater than any mere political or military victory. His goal was to establish another kingdom—the Kingdom of God. This, He taught them, wasn’t to be a political kingdom, but the rule of God over our hearts and minds—and ultimately, over the whole universe. To the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, He declared, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight…. My kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36).
How could this happen? It could happen only if sin and death and Satan were defeated—for these keep God’s Kingdom from becoming a reality in our lives. And how could they be defeated? Only by Christ’s death and resurrection for us—for by His death and resurrection Jesus Christ conquered sin and death and Satan.
Where would you have been during Jesus’ final days? Would you have been in the crowd demanding His death—or would you have been among the minority who remained true to Him? And are you true to Him today?