Holy Week’s Perplexing King

This past Sunday marked the start of Holy Week--the final week of Jesus’ earthly life as he headed to the crucifixion (Matthew 11; Luke 19; John 12). Jesus was THE promised King, the Messiah who had been foretold since Genesis 3:15 when God told the serpent (Satan) that Eve’s offspring would crush his head. The people hoped Jesus would be a conqueror who would free them from cruel Roman oppression (i.e., see Luke 2:38; 24:13-21).

But when Jesus came to Jerusalem for Passover (the annual huge celebration of the Exodus from Egypt), he was riding a borrowed donkey’s colt. Wouldn’t you have expected him to come on a majestic powerful stallion, or even a kingly lion? And where was his army of fearless soldiers? The crowd who’d witnessed Jesus’ miracles, excited about what they expected would happen, sang “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:8-9). But the rest of Jerusalem asked, Who is this? (vs.10). Jesus did go on to do kingly things that week (mind-blowing teaching, clearing out the Temple tax collectors). But how was he going to set the people free?

Jesus did come to free the Israelites, but they didn’t get it. He wept and said to Jerusalem, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:41).

I’m not sure we get it, either. I want Jesus to fix the hard situations in my life that oppress me. Financial concerns, physical pain, struggling relationships. Jesus knew what the people needed: peace with GodHe came to fix the broken relationship between God and humankind. He came to set us free from the darkness of sin. Do we get it that Jesus wants to be our true King?

This week, I’m asking Jesus to show me places in my life where he is not running things. Where am I not letting Jesus give me peace, even saying to myself, Who is this? What right does he have to run my life? I pray with you that we can understand and acknowledge Jesus is the true King of the world, and the best King for my heart.

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN, is the National Director of Nurses Christian Fellowship and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Christian Nursing.

Dig into the Bible to find more about who Jesus is and how he provides healing, strength, hope and spiritual resilience. Try Healing Encounters with Jesus and other short, free studies written for nurses and students.


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