As I was participating in our online church service today with my wife in our home, I was overwhelmed by a thought. It is Palm Sunday. The Jewish people, Israel, were looking for an earthly king to overthrow their conqueror, the Romans. They were fearful, in bondage and confused. Finally, all the biblical scriptures were coming true about the Messiah. He had finally arrived. Now we will show the Romans a thing or two.
And here we are today, fearful, in bondage and confused about the coronavirus. I thought it was incredible the timing for this to be, according to the authorities, at its peak for the next two weeks in America. The virus has us sequestered in our homes. No major distractions such as sports, vacations, family reunions or even Easter week services at our local church. God’s timing and purpose is impeccable. He has our attention, or should. During this holy week, just like Jesus arriving 2000+ years ago into Jerusalem, we are seeking him to cure the virus, protect our families and friends and the people in America. We want him to get our jobs back, our lives back to normal.
Jesus is our Savior
But Jesus was not entering Jerusalem for an overthrow of a conquering government. He was there to take the world’s sin on his body on a cruel cross. Of course, one week later the same people were screaming, crucify him. Are we like them? Are we looking for a Jesus who will cure the virus or are we looking for a Savior, Lord and King who will cleanse us from all unrighteousness, lead us through the valley of the shadow of death, abide with us forever? God can end this deadly virus with a spoken word at any moment. But he also chose not to give his Son an alternative to the cross.
Is your thinking in line with God’s thinking?
God knew what the Israelites needed, and he knows what we need. We must not worry through this season of despair and miss what God is doing, just like he was outside Jerusalem. The words of Isaiah give us a clear picture of what God wants for us. Are we giving him the attention he deserves, and we need?
God knows what we need
“Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God and of the holy one of Israel, for he has glorified you. Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” Now this is the part that I think we need to understand through any kind of season like we are experiencing. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55.5-8 ESV).
Israel could not see what God was doing through Christ then, and neither can we today. But we do know that even though we don’t understand, that same Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. He didn’t let Israel down, he didn’t let the world down, and he won’t let us down today. The sermon last Sunday at our church was on ‘stuck’. If you feel stuck right now because of the circumstances, “cry out and look up”. He is listening and knows what you really need. And it’s JESUS!!!