THE RESULTS OF THE OFFER OF HOPE! What were the results of the glorious and long anticipated events of Palm Sunday? Three basic things happened on that day. “And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, when thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall dash thee to the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:41-44 ASV). For the crowds on that day ignorance, rejection and judgment came into play. Here is one of the saddest passages in the bible. Jesus is rejected by the nation of Israel and the nation of Israel is condemned to a disaster that will last until Jesus comes to rule and reign on earth. When Jesus offers hope we dare not refuse it because the results will be disastrous.
One of the saddest passages of Scripture is also found in Matthew 27:20-26 where the record is found of the leaders of Israel persuading people to exchange the death of Jesus for the life of Barabbas. The ultimate result for Jesus following Palm Sunday was rejection, crucifixion, resurrection and hope for the world. The event that began with such glory on Palm Sunday ended on the cross of Calvary for Jesus. The offer of salvation for the nation of Israel was real but the offer was rejected. God knew that would happen and God had a greater plan. Things do not happen by accident with God. God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. The plan of God will not be stopped. So Jesus gave up His life so God’s ultimate plan could be carried out, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). The truth of that verse is still true today. And salvation through Jesus is still available today.
The final result of the offer of Hope on Palm Sunday is seen in the life of the Disciples. Palm Sunday for the disciples resulted in temporary euphoric excitement and then temporary abandonment of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus was arrested the disciples all fled. The glory and excitement of Palm Sunday led to fear and despair by the end of the week. The miracles became clouded by the cross. The grave overcame hope. The loss of all the glorious expectations led to depression and the experience of hiding in a locked room. Sometimes we become like the disciples. We don’t always understand what God is doing. Even when we see God doing great things and we walk with Him and talk with Him and rejoice with Him sometimes valleys come our way. It seems like all we have and are is nailed to the cross. Death reigns. But praise God, after the cross came the resurrection. And that changed everything for the disciples. Hope was regained. Depression became wild joy and their lives were changed forever. And that is true for us. When we get our eyes off the resurrected Jesus then we often lose hope. But Jesus offers HOPE. We need to keep our eyes on the resurrected Jesus because in Him is eternal life and an abundant life now.