Theme of the Week: Roads to Easter
Bible Verse: “They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.” Matthew 21:7
Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:1-11
Okay, yes, I am a Lord of the Rings fan. But perhaps I’m not a truly devoted fan, I enjoyed the movies as well as the books. The third in the trilogy, titled the same as today’s devotional, captures the culmination of the story: the destruction of the ring, the safe return of Frodo and Sam, and the crowning of Aragorn as the king of Gondor. (I don’t think any of this can be considered a spoiler anymore.)
In the scene where Aragorn is crowned, there is the sense that when the crown is placed on his head, all is somehow finally finished. The death of Sauron didn’t quite put things completely right, but the installation of the king marked the moment when the hopes of the people were finally realized. His brief speech about a day for all men sharing in the days of peace, his soulful song, the drifting of petals from the sky, even the king’s humble recognition of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin all suggest that things are right, better than right, the days ahead will be prosperous.
The king’s return is the beginning of good days to come.
The people of Jesus’s day thought the same thing. As the miracle worker entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey (the sign of a king coming in peace), the people thought the long-awaited Messiah, the son of David, had finally come. They were overjoyed at what this coming meant. The restoration of their nation and the coming of the kingdom of God in all its blessing and fullness.
But the donkey ride down the palm and cloak-strewn street was just the beginning of a road that none but Jesus understood. The people were looking for a king. He was coming as a servant. They wanted a ruler. They needed a savior.
We still look to Jesus for the things we want. But often He gives us what we need. This week let’s relook at some of the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection.
Prayer: Lord, in this week of remembering your suffering and sacrifice, allow me to see you in ways that I haven’t; allow me to see you as the servant you are and not simply as the king I desire. Help me to see your plan and my place in it.
Reflection: As you think about the events of holy week. What stands out to you about the stories that Scripture recounts of that week?
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