Saturday, January 18, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 29: Expectations of a savior

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 29, January 18, 2014
Readings: Psalm 28, Genesis 26, 2 Chronicles 2, Luke 19:28-46

Just what did Jesus do to get crucified? Did he insult the wrong person's mother? Challenge the emperor of Rome for the throne? Lead Israel in rebellion?

No, he did none of these things. All he did was fail to live up to expectations. Expectations that were set in place the moment he triumphantly entered Jerusalem:

And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near - already on the way down the Mount of Olives - the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (Luke 19:35-38)

 This was the return of the King! Mighty works had been done, miracles performed, demons cast out. Jerusalem was a city prepared for a miracle of tremendous proportions. As a people, they had been beaten, abused, enslaved and downtrodden for centuries without reprieve. But they knew that the prophets of old had predicted victory. Prophesied of a coming King who would free them from their slavery.

But not long after this, the same crowd was calling for his execution. Hungry for his death. Because he wasn't the King they thought he was. Surely, Jesus is King. But they expected a warrior, an earthly king who would free them from the Romans. Jesus wanted to do so much more for them. He wanted to free them from the slavery of sin. To give them eternal life.

As Jesus alluded to many times, if the Jews had known, if the Jews had seen Jesus for who he really was, they wouldn't have missed why he came! Instead, their expectations drove them to kill Jesus. They were fair weather fans. They celebrated with great joy when he entered the city - expecting a coup, expecting healing, expecting miracles. And when he didn't deliver, their joy turned to anger. Hatred. They became murderous.

This is a warning and a lesson for us. What are we expecting of Jesus? Do we know him, or do we just know who we want him to be? Do we allow him to guide our life, trusting in him? Or do we place expectations of great wealth, perfect relationships, a great job and more upon a God who never came to give us such things?

We must take care to know Jesus for who he really is, and what he came to do. Jesus came to bring us freedom from sin. Jesus came to be the Lord of our lives, restoring all things to him. Jesus did not come to make our earthly lives great. He came to make our eternal lives amazing. So who are you living for? A made-up Jesus, or the real Jesus?

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