The Wisconsin Badgers came within a free throw of getting to the NCAA championship game. They hit 100% of their free throws in that game until that one. And that was the game.
The game before, they beat Arizona by a point to make it into the final four. Arizona was expected by many to take it all, so they were obviously upset. Mayhem broke out in Tucson, with mob crowds starting fires, breaking windows, rioting, shouting and looting. Police armed with batons and tear gas and protected by helmets and face masks, eventually broke up the crowd.
What happened when Wisconsin lost? Fans in Madison also took to the streets. But they were actually celebrating their team’s good showing in the tournament.
There is no telling how a crowd will react.
We see the same contrast in Jerusalem. One crowd on one day shouted praise and celebrated with palm leaves, chants and dancing. They were welcoming their messiah.
A few day later, another crowd broke into angry protest against the same messiah, calling for his death. Both crowds were reacting to the same man, both knew what he stood for and who he claimed to be. What was the difference? Maybe it has something to do with expectation.
In Arizona, they were expecting a championship and they became angry when they didn’t make the final four. In Wisconsin, they weren’t expecting even the sweet sixteen so they were thrilled with the final four.
In Jerusalem, they wanted an earthly king to overthrow their tyrannical oppressors. They got another––a humble, suffering servant, who came to save them from their sins. And so they rejected him.
Who are you expecting Jesus to be? If you are looking for him to be your personal assistant, and to solve all of your problems, physical, financial and relational, you may wind up reacting like Arizona fans or worse yet, the Jerusalem mob calling for Jesus’ death. Because Jesus never claimed that he came to solve your temporal problems. He came for a bigger cause, one that you may not realize is more important, but one that you need a solution to more than anything else.
He came to provide forgiveness for you. He came to reconcile you to your creator. He came to save you.
How are you responding?