Everyone thought the Messiah was going to come in and conquer, freeing everyone from being under Roman authority.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, He had a triumphal entry but wasn’t typical for a King. Kings would come with their chariots and horses. Jesus chose to come in riding on a donkey.
The people wanted Jesus to come with armies to free them, and yet, He would take the form of a servant and wash the disciples' feet at the Last Supper.
When they come to arrest Him, Jesus admits He could call on angel armies any time He wanted to.
51 One of those with Jesus reached for his sword. Striking the high priest’s slave, he cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put the sword back into its place. All those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I’m not able to ask my Father and he will send to me more than twelve battle groups of angels right away? 54 But if I did that, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this must happen?” 55 Then Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, like a thief? Day after day, I sat in the temple teaching, but you didn’t arrest me. 56 But all this has happened so that what the prophets said in the scriptures might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Jesus and ran away. (Matthew 26, CEB)
His disciples are ready to fight, but Jesus allows Himself to be arrested. Not long after being arrested, Jesus would be beaten and hung on a cross to die. This is the same person who shared these words,
I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)
How is dying conquering the world? How can all of this be true?
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. (John 3:16, CEB)
The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives. (2 Peter 3:9, CEB)
Jesus says He has conquered the world and to save “everyone who believes in Him.” Further, His desire is for no one to perish.
Where is Jesus now? For all of this to be true, shouldn’t He still be at work? There are so many people who still do not trust Him.
The answer is found through what He did for us on the cross and through His resurrection,
6 This is what we know: the person that we used to be was crucified with him in order to get rid of the corpse that had been controlled by sin. That way we wouldn’t be slaves to sin anymore, 7 because a person who has died has been freed from sin’s power. 8 But if we died with Christ, we have faith that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and he will never die again. Death no longer has power over him. 10 He died to sin once and for all with his death, but he lives for God with his life. 11 In the same way, you also should consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6, CEB)
He conquers the world one person at a time, as people trust their lives to Him. They are transformed, going from death into life. What if the only way this was possible was for Jesus to go to the cross? Scripture points to this truth. Jesus says this was the only way.
Holy Week, everything we see through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, points to His desire to see you made new! This is what we mean, and want people to see, when we speak of Connecting People to Christ’s Love.
Blessings, Pastor Matt