Can You see what’s on the other side? It seems to be the instantaneous thought that the Lord was giving me as I took this photo.
I hear many different persuasions coming out of the christian culture today. I firmly believe that the enemy of our soul uses them to keep our focus high centered on building our own kingdom. It is certainly a contrast to the idiom of “Set your mind on things above.” I have been challenged lately to sort through my Kingdom mindset and ask the question. “Are my priority’s all about building a kingdom here on earth or are they lining up with the examples that Christ set when He unconventionally introduced us to His Kingdom?”
I have always loved exploring the tensions created by Jesus as He set the examples of how we could do life as a part of His Kingdom. The man who brought freedom to all mankind is seen In Luke 19. His story plays out In the midst of a facade of pomp and glory during His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. But Jesus didn’t position Himself as the one to rule a nation that was oppressed. He wasn’t about prosperity or making things better in the Jews society. He didn’t even put on a display that would affirm Himself as the ruler of the region. So in this story we see that once again the Jews find themselves oppressed, not by the Syrians, but by the Romans. Consequently, what the people were essentially saying when they cried Hosanna and waved palm branches as Jesus rode into Jerusalem, was, `Deliver us from the Romans.' But when they realized Jesus had a different agenda than a political one, a different agenda than a national one, a different agenda than a material one — their cry changed from `Hosanna' to `Crucify him.' The same is still true and has played out over and over again throughout history. In fact, it seems to be playing out once again in well meaning patriots who call themselves Americans and Christians.
I have watched Christians individually, and churches corporately, mobilize politically for this cause, or for that personality; to change our government, to change our economy, under the banner of patriotism, even pseudo spirituality and prophecy but, very few are interested in the Cross, which means dying to self and living for eternity. You see, it's one thing to shout I’m a Patriot, or a Prophet, or to boast of a special word from the Lord, and it is altogether something else to take the path to the Cross in the way Jesus did.
So, in the midst of a hopeful government take over, Jesus rides in on a donkey and begins to weep. He weeps because the city-and, by extension, all Israel were looking for the next great Patriot who would bring peace and prosperity, and they failed to recognize Jesus and his lordship. He knew of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. The scene echoed with a previous lament over Jerusalem from (Luke 13:31-35), where Jesus said, "How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" They were so hung up on their freedom from Roman oppression, the need for a great ruler, someone to fight for them militarily, that they missed the one who could free them in every way and from the burden of sin. His example of a lamb being led to slaughter for the purpose of bringing freedom to all is nowhere taught or found in our "Save Now!" culture.
I don’t share this thought to discourage patriotism. I share it for the purpose of posing the most important question you may ever ask yourself in these last moments before Jesus returns in all of His glory.
All the patriotism in the world won’t get you into into Gods Kingdom. Has your search for a little more peace and freedom left you discouraged, dismayed, hopeless?’ If it has then ask yourself, ‘Has my personal expectations caused me to miss the entrance of the Prince of peace and the only provider of freedom in my life or, have I missed Him all together?
The more I look at things on a world scale, the more I know that things are not getting better. The more I fix my eyes on Jesus the more the pursuit of happiness in the kingdom of this world become less important and all together insignificant.
Fix your eyes on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith and may the expectation that Jesus may come this very moment be at the forefront of everything you say and do. May He be the central focus of your eternal plans for today. He is coming sooner than you may think!
Food for thought!