Yesterday morning I stood in church singing, “You are my King. Jesus, You are my King.” As I sang, I imagined people lining a road into Jerusalem, laying down coats and palm branches for Jesus to ride over. I imagined their voices rising, “Hosanna! Blessed is the coming kingdom of David!”
I imagined they too were singing, “Jesus, You are my King!”
For a long time I was baffled that some of the very same people who lay down their coats and shouted, “Hosanna, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” would, just days later, shout, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Yet there I stood on a Sunday morning singing with all my heart, “You are my King. You are my King. Jesus, You are my King.” And hours later those same lips would be stretched tight in anger, shouting to my sons to put the mattresses back onto the beds, to stop trashing their rooms, to stop disobeying me. And later, that same heart that overflowed with praise for Jesus would ignore His Spirit’s promptings to calm down. Instead, I’d go right ahead and speak angry words to my husband.
My own sin would cry out my need for His crucifixion. “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
And that’s not the first time. Many times – an uncomfortably embarrassing amount of times – my heart has filled to brimming over with praise for God and His goodness. But then, He doesn’t perform as I expect. Circumstances don’t turn out the way I plan. He’s not the King I anticipated. There’s far more suffering and pain and blood and gore and sacrifice than I ever imagined. So my heart fills with disappointment and anger. I move on to Plan B, figuring I’ll just take it into my own hands because I could probably do a better job.
So, I understand. I get it. I can see how even good people could stand alongside a dirt road in Jerusalem and shout “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David. . . . Jesus, you are our King!” I can believe they meant it with all their all-too-human hearts. And then they watched as their expectations crumbled, their hopes were dashed, their plans fell through. I can understand how they’d think, “Wait! . . . He’s not the King I anticipated. This isn’t the way I planned for it all to work out.”
And though I’d like to think I wouldn’t have been one of the many screaming, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” I know chances are I would have either been shouting with the crowds or hidden away in fear with the disciples. And whichever the case, my own sin would necessitate the cries, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
But the beauty is — Jesus knows this about me. He knew it about me before I was even born. He knew it about that crowd in Jerusalem that day when He rode the donkey and watched them hail Him as King. He knew the truth about His disciples, that they’d run and hide and deny Him. He knew it as He taught them and poured into them and loved them all those three years. He knows we’ll fail. He knows we’re capable of praising Him one minute and cursing the next.
That’s why He came. That’s why He died for us. That’s why He rose again. To overcome our sin. To overcome our failures.
“Amazing love, How can it be, That You my King would die for me? Amazing love, I know it’s true. And it’s my joy to honor You. . . . Jesus, You are my King. Jesus, You are my King.” (*lyrics by Chris Tomlin)