This morning, I [Michelle] was reading through Jesus’ triumphant entry in Mark 11. Jesus entered into Jerusalem, the people shouting, “Hosanna!” It didn’t stop with their exclamation of praise. They also laid their cloaks down & put palm branches down in His path. They recognized Him as God’s Son, as the promised One from the line of David.
No doubt, this was a moment of earthly glory. A glamorous moment in the life of Jesus. I mean, it was pretty much modern-day red carpet. Had this happened in 2016, everyone would have been snapping photos, begging for selfies, just aiming to get a glimpse of Jesus so they could tell their friends, “I was there! I saw him!”
That was Sunday.
Tuesday, the plot to kill Jesus began (Mark 14:1-2).
By Thursday evening, he was publicly betrayed by one of his twelve most trusted followers. He was arrested. He was put on multiple trials, shuffled between the high priest, the Sanhedrin, Herod and Pilate.
He was scourged and beaten. One of his inner circle, Peter, denied Him three times. The people rioted for His crucifixion, even released one of the day’s most dangerous criminals for the exchange of Jesus’ death. He was mocked with a crown of thorns, forced to carry His own cross, and had nails driven in his hands and feet while the people cheered. Not to mention, with the exception of John, His mother, and a few other women, Jesus was abandoned by the remaining 10 disciples, who were afraid they themselves would be put to death if they hung around.
And Jesus died a criminal’s death on the cross.
Talk about a turnaround.
On Sunday, Jesus is the center of the “red carpet.” Five days later, they’re delighting at the sight of His red blood.
Five. Days. Later.
Let’s not miss the important lesson for us: Earthly glory may be glamorous, but it is also temporary. Fleeting. Fickle. Unreliable.
Simply put, earthly glory without eternal purpose is completely worthless.
Jesus knew the difference. His purpose wasn’t persuaded by the glamour of the crowd. Jesus did get His real glory, but it was the result of being obedient to the point of death. And it was nothing this world could offer Him.
Death had no sting. Jesus rose victoriously on the third day and ascended into heaven to enter His eternal glory, promising His return for those who would remain committed to Him. He gave us His final charge; we are to tell others about Him so as many as possible can escape the death He died in our place and have eternal life in Heaven.
Following the example of Jesus, let’s not fall victim to the fleeting glamorous feeling of the crowd’s approval. Glory given to us by God is the only approval that exists that is coupled with authority. Therefore, His glory is the only one we should seek.
Give us Your perspective, Jesus. Help us prioritize what is forever, not what is fleeting. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice, though we were still sinners. Help our heart’s desires and actions prove our love for You. Amen.