I have recently been considering Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem the week before his death. Jesus specifically went to Jerusalem knowing that he would be arrested, tried, and killed. He entered into the city on the back of a donkey intentionally evoking the prophetic message which told that the Messiah King would do so. He accepted the praise and worship of the crowd who lauded his arrival on that day.
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” -Luke 19:35-38
Why would he do that? One reason is that he was claiming his true identity as King. Two, Jesus is knowingly antagonizing his enemies which will lead to his arrest and execution. Three, Jesus is giving you and me an ultimatum. We can either crown Jesus as King of our lives or we can reject and crucify him. Those are our only two options.
Acknowledging Jesus as King is not the same as surrendering to his Kingship. We should be aware that our actions or in-action can appear to be moral, good, and Christian. Keep in mind, however, that many who were praising Jesus on Sunday were calling for his death on Friday. Our trust in religious routine or even beliefs can give us a false sense of our own hearts.
What, then, does it look like to crown Jesus as King in our hearts? For that, I’d encourage you to read the chapters in Luke leading up to his entry into Jerusalem in chapter 19. What is Jesus saying? What is he teaching? What is he doing? And most of all, what is he calling you to do about it?
Sometimes we can look at our lives and feel pretty good about our beliefs and behaviors especially when we compare ourselves to others (like the Pharisees who rejected Jesus or the fickle crowd who called for his crucifixion). A better way to spend this Holy Week: Seek to understand your own poverty in spirit. Seek to understand the places in your life where you’re trusting in yourself more than you do Jesus. Repent. Worship Jesus for his place as King, for his forgiveness, and his great love for you!
Generosity is a Core Value at White Oak
I’m excited to offer to our White Oak family a way during this Easter season that you can give to help care for Ukrainian refugees. TCM comes alongside Christians who are leading in their own countries and have a passion for reaching their people for Christ. Through TCM institute, Christian leaders can be trained for a fraction of the cost it would take to send a U.S. missionary to that same country. Since these individuals already know the cultures and languages, they are able to have successful ministries and are equipped for a lifetime of service.
TCM has approximately 3,000 students and graduates directly impacted by this war. Our Regional Representatives and partners in Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Georgia, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia, and Austria have established Ukrainian church and organizational aid stations to provide food, water, clothing, medicines, beds, etc. In addition to prayer, the love of Jesus and His Good News are shared with those impacted.
I want to thank you for your faithful and generous giving to White Oak which fuels ministry impact in our city and around the world. If you feel led to give a special gift above and beyond, I am happy to introduce you to this opportunity to serve those in need. You can give by going to thewocc.com/give and selecting TCM Ukraine Relief in the dropdown. Thank you for your generosity!
Seek our King,
Lead Pastor, White Oak Christian Church