I was thinking and praying about Holy week and Easter this week. As I pondered and read the word some scriptures came to life for me in a different way. On Palm Sunday the crowd treated Jesus as a triumphal king. He was later coined the “The King of the Jews” on his cross. This is what the Jews were looking for, someone to change their situation and release them from the oppression of the Romans.
However, God’s plan included more than just the Jewish people, it included all of humanity. The Jews thought that God was sending a savior to restore the Kingdom of Israel because they thought more highly of themselves and their kingdom than they ought. What God really did was send Jesus to establish God’s Kingdom on the earth, the Kingdom where God rules, regardless of ethnic background or heritage. Even after the resurrection, Jesus’ disciples did not understand. Let’s look at Acts 1.
Acts 1:4-8 NKJV
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father,“which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This whole passage is regarding God sending a promise to help them. But the promise is not to rebuild the kingdom of Israel it is to build the Kingdom of God. In verse six a question about the restoration of the earthly kingdom is asked. I see Jesus’ answer as redirecting their focus to understand that God is in control and they should focus on God’s work not their own kingdom.
So how is this relevant today and how does this affect my life? After reading this I realized that it is so easy to get caught up in building our own lives that we forget the reason we are on this earth. I tend to get so busy with many things and focus on what is happening to me that I completely lose sight of God and His purpose. Maybe those circumstances and situations are put in my path to test me and help me grow and bring God more glory.
Recently I have been through some major challenges, but I have chosen to fight my way through by focusing on doing my absolute best even if things look bleak. I believe that God will get glory from my responses. Does this mean I am perfect, no I am not. I still have my down days and weak moments. But I am learning from every situation and focused on how I can grow through it, so God will be glorified.
Every one of us is going through something that is unpleasant. Maybe it is time to take a step back and find out how that situation can make us stronger and how we can benefit the Kingdom of God through the situation no matter how tough it is on us.
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.