There is a great hymn whose first line goes like this: “I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.”
This week we have decided to take those words literally. We are going to follow Jesus on the journey of his last week on earth; the most important, impacting week that was ever lived on this planet.
Each day take a little time (20-40 minutes) to read each passage and devotional thought. Reflect on the questions at the end of each section and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Receive the truth, even it if hurts, because He gives it with love. Allow Him to transform your thinking, your agendas, your outlook and your passions. By doing so, you are following the path of Jesus and will experience a greater measure of life that you never thought possible. It will be a week that will change your world.
Dying to Great Expectations (Luke 19:35-42)
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!” 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
Reflect back on Palm Sunday and put yourself in Jesus’ shoes. You are going to Jerusalem in obedience to the Father. You know that if you go there you will be giving up your life as a ransom for people’s sins. You will be brutally beaten to death. Yet, your disciples and the crowds have other expectations. They believe you will set them free, not from sin and death, but from Roman oppression. They believe that you will feed them with an unlimited supply of food, heal all their diseases and raise them from the dead. They want to crown you King, not because of who you are, but because of what they expect you to do for them. And you know that within five days, their blessings of praise to you will turn into curses of condemnation. Instead of riding on a white stallion, you ride on a borrowed colt. Instead of a crown of gold, you will receive a crown of thorns. Instead of sitting on a throne, you will be hung on a cross. The irony is so thick that there is nothing you can do but weep…
Yet, you continue to Jerusalem because doing what the Father wants you to do is far more important than meeting the expectations of others.
Examine your life. Which is greater: obeying God or living according to expectations (others or your own)? Jesus invites you to join him to die to great expectations in order to live for something far greater than you can imagine.