Janelle Ibaven
Janelle Ibaven

“Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Mk. 11:9, NIV).

The fanfare that ushered Jesus into Jerusalem is such a contrast to the horror and trauma that would mark the week’s end. In a matter of days, Jesus went from celebrity to criminal.

At first, Jesus was what was expected, the King of Kings coming to make all things right. How could He not be good? He heals. He feeds. He frees.

In Tish Harrison Warren’s book, Prayer in the Night, she recalls a friend praying over her infant before it was taken away to the operating room. Warren writes: “We have to decide right now whether or not God is good, because if we wait to determine that by the results of his surgery, we will always keep God on trial.”

Palm Sunday highlights how quickly my heart can turn when the process of faith shifts from being safe to being vulnerable. One moment I am declaring His Lordship, and the next He is on trial for my suffering and pain. Holy Week places a mirror in front of me and asks where my source of the goodness and trust lies. Is it in the celebrity? The parade? In the mass of worshipers? Or is it in Christ? In suffering?

We must decide before the parade if the goodness of God is legitimate, or we will always have God on trial.

Prayer + Reflection

  1. Examine your heart and mind, and confess any instances where you have God on trial in your life.
  2. Praise God for His goodness, even through difficult circumstances and ones we can’t yet understand.
  3. Ask the Lord to give you His eyes to see what is eternal, instead of what is temporary. Thank God for coming humbly on Palm Sunday, despite knowing what was going to happen.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is a Foursquare minister serving as a chaplain at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

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