The king of unmet expectations

By Pastor Dan Mielke

Grace Baptist Church

Does God disappoint you? Does He fail to live up to your expectations?

As many look toward celebrating Resurrection Sunday, I would like you to travel back in your mind to ancient Jerusalem.

Imagine the bustling streets as thousands of faithful worshipers gather for the most momentous celebration of the year, Passover.

Pastor Dan Mielke, Grace Baptist Church

As you walk up the temple steps, you notice that there are less handicapped people since last you were there, and you see a mute man, who tells you the amazing story of a man who healed His tongue.

As you continue, the air is palatable with expectations, and the question I would pose is, “If you were in Jerusalem, what expectations would you have of the King?”

The timing was right for great expectations. According to Daniel 9:24-25, Jesus was entering on the very day that prophesy foretold. In fact Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies. He had the right pedigree to be King.

He was appearing in the exact same way that Zechariah 9:9 had prophesied and I Kings 1:33 had prefigured.

It is no wonder that in Matthew 21 we read of the excitement of Palm Sunday. People spread their coats on the ground in recognition of the arrival of Jesus.

During Passover the Jews would sing the Halel which included a Messianic prophecy from Psalm 118:24-25, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now -Hosanna, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.” The word Hosanna means save us now.

If you were a first century Jew, what would you be expected to be saved from? What better time and place to throw off the Roman shackles then when all of the faithful are in the capital city with a King who could create food, heal a wounded army, and raise soldiers from the dead? In this cry, the people were heralding what the Savior could do for them, and not their allegiance or submission.

The Jews were expecting a miraculous deliverance from their circumstances.

How does their King respond to praise for deliverance from Roman rule? If we follow the chronological sequence shown in the Gospels, Mark 11:11 tells us that, Jesus entered the temple and left. That’s it, on Jesus’ big day, He simply looks around and leaves. Who needs a king like that?

Jesus does nothing, and the next day He comes back and doesn’t touch the Romans, but tells the self-righteous people that they need to repent and submit to His Lordship?

I would like to pose the same question asked by one of the premier scholars on the life of Jesus Dr. Doug Bookman. “Given Sunday, Why Friday?” I think in short, because God did not meet expectations. When Jesus did not meet the expectations of their circumstantial deliverance, He was therefore judged not worthy to be their King.

How often do we follow the same pattern as the Jewish people? We praise Jesus on Sunday, and then when He does not meet our expectations in life, we forfeit the joy of God. Because He did not meet our expectations, we judge Him as not worthy of our allegiance, and that is how we get from Palm Sunday, to Friday in our hearts.

Jesus did not come so that finite expectations could be fulfilled.

Because Jesus did not meet the expectations of humanity, He was able to be slain while the faithful celebrated the Passover of God’s deserving wrath against sin. Because Jesus did not meet expectations, He was able through His death to pay our price of sin (Romans 6:23) and offer forgiveness by allowing God’s wrath to pass-over a believer’s sins. Because He was faithful to death, those who trust Him are able to be raised to newness of life both now and for all eternity.

Are you willing to submit to Him as King today, or are you holding out for your expectations of how a King should act towards His servant? Are you willing to submit to God as King and Master and bow the knee or are you requiring Jesus to bow the knee to your own expectations for your life?

It may be hard, but let me remind you that the same God who is requiring your allegiance, loved you enough to die for you. You can trust this King to do exceeding abundantly above what you could ask or think, will you trust Him?

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