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His Confidence is Ours

When reading the accounts of Palm Sunday, one almost gets the impression that the donkey is the main character rather than Jesus. Jesus carefully orchestrates his mode of transportation, both in the giving of the instructions and their execution. Luke’s account is especially scant in detail when he gets to the triumphal entry itself. He makes no mention of the palm branches and hosannas like Matthew and Mark do. Jesus clearly intended to send a message with his mode of transportation. In ancient times, kings would ride on donkeys to announce that every enemy had been defeated and every threat put down. A warhorse was no longer needed. Peace has been established. Jesus however chose a donkey before defeating his enemies. He enters Jerusalem defenseless, knowing that those who oppose him have resolved to do to him. For Jesus, the donkey was not just a symbol of royalty. It was a symbol of humble confidence. While the people sang praises to Jesus, how confident were they in his ability to save them? It’s hard to tell based on their actions later that week. Some of these in the crowd perhaps shouted “Crucify!” While the disciples followed instructions and probably loved being in the entourage of the center of attention, later that week they hid behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. What about you? Are you confident in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? “Yes!” Well, then what about the shaking knees at the prospect of war? Why do you get so upset? Why are you so surprised by the evil of this world when Jesus already said it would be this way? Why do we spend our time on such frivolity? Why do I chase after things and affirmation of people around me (and get so upset when I don’t have it) when I have the approval of the one who comes in the name of the Lord? Are you confident you can withstand temptation that seems to get you every time? Are we really that confident? Jesus is. His confidence is our confidence. He accepts the praise from the people and approves of their appraisal of him. He is the one who has come in the name of the Lord. He is the one who makes peace in heaven. He receives and gives glory in the highest. Practice makes perfect. Practice makes one confident. Don’t practice your own confidence but practice applying the confidence of Jesus. The disciples’ confidence didn’t bring Jesus into Jerusalem. The religious leaders’ confidence didn’t put Jesus to the cross. The crowd’s confidence didn’t usher in the Messiah. Jesus’ confidence saved you. Jesus confidently confronted Satan with defiant shouts of forgiveness and submission to the Father’s saving plan. Don’t lean on your own confidence but instead apply the confidence of your Savior. As he rebukes the pharisees, so he rebuked your sin and failure to be confident. Jesus didn’t need to be armed with weapons except for his almighty power. Apply the confidence of Jesus when you lack it and let him bolster you for your spiritual battles. Watch on Thursday and Friday this week Jesus’ confidence in suffering and dying for you and sing the praise of the victorious Savior on Easter Sunday. Amen

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