National championships. World cups. Military victories.
Torrents of confetti rain down as home town boys become world-class heroes. Native sons carry home trophies, medals and honor that we somehow co-opt as our own–as if we get to place the trophies in our cases or hang the medals around our necks.
It is so easy to get caught up in. Palpable excitement–a populace trembling and quaking with the sense of accomplishment.
Matthew records that when Jesus entered Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, the entire city of Jerusalem literally quaked with anticipation. It was a first century ticker tape parade.
Their Messiah had finally come.
They felt ownership and personal achievement. In those moments, the crowd wanted to take control of Jesus’ destiny…make Him King, throw off oppressive Roman occupation, establish the Kingdom as they thought it should be. Their “Hosanna!” cry was both a desperate cry for help and a defiant declaration of hope.
Their dream was coming true.
Therein lay the problem. It was their dream, not God’s.
They had a picture of who Jesus would be and what He would do based on their limited perspective from within history. But God’s dream was different, built with a view from above history. Unfortunately, the two dreams were on a collision course culminating on a cross.
You see, that is the problem with ticker tape parades–they leave behind a big mess.
Jesus was ushering in God’s dream, celebrating His ultimate and eternal victories. The people wanted to take that dream and shape it into their vision.
But when God’s dream collides with our demands, everything gets shaken.
I find it fascinating that a week later the city shook again. This time when Jesus cried from the cross: it is finished! The Kingdom greater than time was bending history around those moments.
God’s dream was coming true.
Jesus was leading out the captives in triumphal procession, vanquishing the real oppressor and establishing the invincible Kingdom. Sadly there was no celebration among the people then.
They had simply picked the wrong parade.
(Thoughts from Matt. 21:10)