Tomorrow, Christians all over the world will celebrate Palm Sunday -- the day on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. On that occasion, the crowds welcomed Him, waving palm branches and shouting, "'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!' 'Blessed is the King of Israel!'" (John 12:13). Less than a week later, He was condemned and put to death on a cross -- the death of a common criminal.
Why didn't Jesus lead a revolt against the Romans who had occupied the Jewish nation, and allow the people to make Him their king? He could have done so; He certainly had their support. He also could have used His divine power to overcome Rome's armies. Later, He said to Pilate, the Roman governor, "Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53).
But He refused to do so for one reason: This was not God's plan for Him. God had sent Him into the world for a far different reason: to become the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. Political power would have been fleeting, nor could it have accomplished our redemption. But by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, Jesus defeated a far greater enemy than Rome -- the enemy of death and hell and Satan and sin.
Almost 2,000 years ago, the crowds welcomed Jesus as He entered Jerusalem -- only to reject Him later. May that not be true of you, but may you welcome Him into your life as your Savior and Lord -- today and forever.