As we prepare to celebrate Palm Sunday this year let us remember why Jesus coming into Jerusalem was so exciting for the first disciples and the crowds following Him: they hoped Jesus was the one who would save them politically and militarily from the Romans. Even though most people today are not looking for a messianic figure, we still see much evil and injustice in our world that we hope and pray would be done away with and it will when Jesus returns.
But, the hope of a Messiah for the Jews of Jesus’ time had primarily become political in nature instead of humanity’s greatest need that our sin separates us from God. Jesus came to heal, restore, and reconcile our relationship with God when He came the first time. It is interesting how focused on political matters the first disciples were. Even after Jesus’ resurrection the disciples ask Him in Acts 1:6 “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” His answer is found in verse 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We are not meant to accumulate political power, but to be witnesses of the power of Jesus’ transformation in our lives and show that Jesus still transforms through the power of His Holy Spirit. Yes, we can be politically active and seek that Jesus’ will be done on earth as He teaches us to pray. Yet, we also know that until Jesus’ return we will not have a political utopia.
This Easter Season, let us be empowered with the Holy Spirit to be the witnesses we have been called to be and see the Gospel go forth through us to people and places that we did not imagine possible. It is hard to see the Kingdom of God grow sometimes, especially in the midst of difficulty and turmoil.
Yet, we can trust that Jesus is working alongside us and through us with His Holy Spirit to bring transformation to hearts and lives because He is working and using us to spread His love and hope that he brought that first Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will fill us anew to be His witnesses and in the meantime pray for Jesus’ to return again as we await our final salvation. Come Lord Jesus, Come Quickly!