Mourning into Joy | Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 4 of 10

As the days settled in Jerusalem, Jesus won’t stop talking about morbid days ahead. What erratic lunacy it must have been, for the disciples to witness their messiah brooding over his death. These few days was hard for Christ, but it must have been utterly confusing for the disciples. Here is the messiah, who they believed would grant them great health, wealth and happiness – one who was going to overthrow the Roman rule. And yet they kept hearing Him say, He was going to be killed by His own people?! When Peter rebuked Christ, he confirmed these sentiments. But Christ had a different objective. Jesus did not come to satisfy our shortsighted, glory-hungry whims and fancies. He came to grant us salvation. But Jesus knew, the kind of God they imagined Him to be – one that takes their side, grants them comfort, and overthrows their enemies. And therefore, He asked: Who do we say this Jesus is?

There are three important points to be noted here. First, joy could only come through mourning this sinful life. Because eternal life could only come through the Cross. Second, we are not to seek comfort in this world – which the scriptures rightfully deemed, the Kingdom of the Evil one. (1 Jn 5:19) And lastly, we are to forgive one another. (Mark 11:25) Marshal Segal writes,

“Our salvation was purchased with suffering, and it will be sealed and preserved with suffering (James 1:2–4), not comfort… If we come to the crucified one expecting him to make life easier and more comfortable, we’re not listening to him. Jesus says, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’ (Mark 8:34).” (Pg. 38-39)

The mark of a true disciple is suffering. A world that rejects Christ, cannot accept His followers. (John 15:19) But our confidence lies in that fact that God forgave us and called us His own. Therefore, as forgiven people, we ought to forgive.

For Jesus, it was important that the disciples know that a life of suffering awaited them, and they were not to hold any grudges nor hatred against anyone. Because the failure to do so posed a greater problem. But ultimately, none of this could come through until and unless they could do away with their false imagination of who Christ was. Because for Jesus, His desire for His followers were not for them to become rich, comfortable, and enjoy great authority in the world. Christ desired His people to be driven by a self-sacrificial love. Because love alone was/is the category of His Kingdom – not riches, not conquest, not political power – none of that which resembles this fallen world. Therefore, for Jesus this question was really important. It was important that they know Him for who He really is – before He could lay down His life. So that they could follow Him to the kingdom of eternal life, He was preparing for them.

Dear readers, I wonder if Christ was to ask us – who do we say this Jesus is? Would we have the correct answer? Or will He find us riddled by the god of our own imagination? Will He find us desiring a god that grants us great health, and takes our side against people who treat us unfavorably?! There is only one thing I can say: life is full of suffering as it is, why not suffer for good. To God be the Glory.


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love

Mourning into Joy | Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 2 of 10

Nothing demonstrates the compassionate omniscience of Christ as the minutes detailing His entrance into Jerusalem. Knowing everything is one thing, but choosing to have compassion over it, is something altogether wonderful and strange. Christ being truly God knew what lie ahead as He walked into Jerusalem. He knew that He will be rejected. He knew that He was going to be crucified by the same people who were cheering for Him. Yet He welcome it all. He healed them. He taught them. He did everything despite knowing quite well that His actions and His words were falling on blind and deft ears. He knew that the people who came to Him, came merely because they want to be healed and to be free from the Roman rule. They did not want Christ, they only wanted to use Him. And that is a disappointment that even I can attest and relate. I have walked out of many situations, relationships, and social arrangements where I have felt that I was merely being used. And if I, with my own limited knowledge could feel utterly bad for not being wanted for who I am (but only for my benefit), I cannot even begin to imagine how a sovereign God must’ve felt. But Christ’s disappointment was far greater than mine, because His concern wasn’t limited to personal rejection. The Apostles say, Christ wept over Jerusalem because they had rejected salvation itself. (Matt 23:37-39, Luke 19:41-44) Most of us would walk away, as I mentioned. But Christ, a Sovereign God – on whose will the world functions, neither abandoned nor annihilate those people – yet chose to have compassion. And that is quite a contradicting quality, but the beauty of Christ is that – He unites this all-powerful control with great compassion and mercy.

This Palm Sunday, I wish to focus on that – mercy, or more precisely – Sovereign Mercy. Because I don’t know about you dear reader, but I seem to need more and more. I don’t want to focus on what Christ can do for me. I want to focus on what He has done. Because I have always been selfish. I am no better than the people of Jerusalem who rejected Him. I have only come to Him when my health fails, or when my career is waning. I am quick to forget about the price He paid to satisfy the wrath of God – so that we can enjoy His mercy. I am quick to forget that He chose to die despite knowing well we would reject Him and continue to live in ways that dishonors Him. But my dear readers, if He can walk into Jerusalem. He can walk into our lives too. If He can make stones shout out His praises. (Lk 19:40) He can surely turn our stone-cold hearts into God-honoring flesh. (Eze 36:26, Heb 8:10) So, let us focus on His mercy this Sunday. And let us not forget how privilege we are, that we are protected in His love, compassion, and mercy. To God be the Glory.


Wishing you and your family, a very blessed Palm Sunday. Hopefully, you’ll be back tomorrow. And we’ll meet again. Until then, Shalom!


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week

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