A Word from Curt…
Posted: April 11th, 2014
Oliver Cromwell assumed the throne of England in 1649, after the execution of King Charles I. As Cromwell became “Lord Protector of the Commonwealth,” Charles’ son escaped to mainland Europe. The people of England endured the bloody abuses of Cromwell’s government for 12 years, until he finally died of natural causes.
In 1660, Charles II returned from exile. As he made his way toward London, a cry went up throughout the English countryside: “We have a new king!” Crowds of adoring men, women and children escorted King Charles II in a triumphal procession into the capitol city.
In his book, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Winston Churchill describes this historic event: “All classes crowded to welcome the king home to his own. They cheered and wept in uncontrollable emotion. They felt themselves delivered from a nightmare. They now dreamed they had entered a golden age.”
A similar celebration took place in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Jesus of Nazareth was escorted into the capitol city by an adoring crowd who hailed him as their Messiah and Deliverer. They believed that he would overthrow the brutal oppression of the Roman government and restore the nation to its “Golden Age.”
As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the crowd began to joyfully praise God shouting, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Have you ever been at a concert or sporting event and felt a “collective vibe” as people got caught up in the moment? Maybe that’s what happened that day in Jerusalem. Suddenly everyone was cheering for Jesus.
But in the following days, the cheers faded away. Jesus refused to play along. He turned over tables in the temple. He rebuked the religious leaders. Jesus told his followers that they would suffer and be hated. He was a threat to the people in power. He challenged the status quo.
The “collective vibe” quickly changed. The crowd that shouted “Hail, King Jesus” on Sunday screamed “Crucify him!” on Friday. Suddenly it was no longer cool (or safe) to be a friend of Jesus.
During this Holy Week, may we recognize the time of God’s coming to us (Luke 19:44). And may we respond to Jesus in humble faith… regardless of the crowd.