What a difference a week makes

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Jesus entered Jerusalem as a hero.

Riding on a fresh colt, He was celebrated as a conquerer and king.

Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!

He left Jerusalem just a week later as a heal.

Rejected by many who had hailed His arrival, He was scourged, nailed to a cross, and left to die the painful death of a criminal.

Crucify Him!

Have you ever wondered what you would have done if you had been in Jerusalem at that time?

If you have wondered about it, I hope you won’t get too proud of yourself.

You see, when Jesus comes into our lives, His entry is much the same.

We welcome Him as our blessed Savior.

We sing.

We cry happy tears.

We share our conversion with everybody we see.

We know in our hearts that we’ll always be true to Him.

After all, He’s our Lord and Master and we are His subjects.

But then something happens.

Oh, it might take years — maybe days, or even just hours.

Something else catches our eye and attracts our attention more than Jesus.

Or, as happened to those early worshippers in Jerusalem, we learn more about our Lord over time and discover that His desires and goals are different from our own.

We learn that discipleship takes discipline.

We learn that living a spiritual life conflicts with our life in the flesh.

After all, His focus is on eternity and ours is on the moment.

Then, rather than surrender our will to His, we choose to turn against Him.

It may seem minor to us, but it isn’t a small thing to Jesus.

When we fall away — that is, when we subordinate God’s will to our own — we crucify the Son of God all over again and subject Him to public disgrace (see Hebrews 6).

You know, it’s easy for us to become haughty as we compare ourselves to those in the first century.

We can have a grand time mocking their stubborn ways, but we’re really no different.

We go through the same motions.

We climb the heights and then fall to the same depths.

Fortunately, there is Good News!

We’re blessed by a God who loves us despite our sinful nature and seesawing loyalties.

In fact, He loves us so much that He sacrificed His only Son to pay for our sins.

And He did that while we were still sinners!

If we’re in Jesus, we can live with confidence, knowing full well that we aren’t alternately falling in and out of God’s grace.

We can rest in the assurance that there is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8, NASB).

Still, there’s that gnawing realization that when we sin, we hurt Jesus.

Which begs the question: What will you do today to bring Jesus joy instead of pain?