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The Journal

A different type of king

Dear Friends,
Palm Sunday reminds us that God’s King is coming. But as we look at the crowds they were expecting a different type of king to Jesus. The use of Palm branches and the singing of Psalm 118 was the same as what happened about 100 years earlier when Judas Maccabaeus, a Jewish hero drove out the Greeks from the temple. Palms were the symbol on the coin of the second Maccabean revolt. Just as the great heroes of the past had challenged Greek power so there was hope that this Jesus would challenge the power of Rome. You can understand how exceptions about Jesus were building as he healed people and raised Lazarus from the dead and had fed the 5000 and earlier had thrown out the money changers from the temple. But the great problem then and today is that people don’t really understand the type of King that Jesus has come to be. The crowd cry out Hosanna which means Save us and they see that Jesus comes in the name of the Lord and is the promised King but their expectations are very different to the reality of how Jesus has come.
In John12:14-15 we are told that Jesus rode a donkey and then there is a quote from Zechariah 9:9 that speaks of God’s King coming to his people but this King comes in gentleness which could appear as weak to people. It is no

wonder in 12:16 the disciples don’t understand all this. They didn’t understand the significance of this until after Jesus was glorified - that is died on the Cross. Throughout this

extended teaching Jesus is trying to communicate that the central reason why He has come is for

the hour of His glorification 12:23 which is His death. The great mystery of this king is that His power and life is released in weakness and humility and gentleness. The metaphor of the seed of wheat falling to the ground and dying speaks of His death bringing life to others. In fact this is also the pattern for the disciples that they too must learn to die to self and follow Jesus. Jesus explains this in 12:25-26 that we need to lose our life for Christ’s sake meaning that we put HIs Word and HIs purposes and His priorities above our own. At our 5pm service we are looking at 1 John 3:1-20 and the fact that we are a loved image. In v1 John speaks of Jesus lavishing his love on us to make us His children and this love is most fully expressed in Jesus laying down His life for us - 3:16. May the Lord reveal His love to us in Christ and may we enjoy this love. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara