Jesus lived in enemy occupied country. His people had had enough. They read the ancient scriptures and looked for the Son of David who would save them from their plight. When Jesus arrives in Jerusalem on the day we call Palm Sunday, the crowds cry 'Save us!'*. Surely this is the conquering king, coming into the capital city to rescue his people.
But Jesus doesn't play ball. Soon Jesus will hear the words 'save us' again, but this time as part of a hurl of insults from a crucified man who thinks that Jesus has let him down. Jesus is on the cross next to him.
I find that Jesus often won't play ball with me. I know what I want him to do but he has other ideas. I find that he is still the king who rides on a donkey, who tells us to put away our weapons of war. He is still the one asking for a house of prayer rather than a den of bandits. Still the one who believes in the resurrection to eternal life. The one who tells us that if we want to be great in his kingdom we must be servant of all. The one who tells us to love our enemies. The one who responds to our cry of 'save us' in ways we could not have imagined.
I urge you to go deep with Jesus this Easter. Read the gospels. Let Jesus speak to you from our ancient texts. Or you too may end up like the bandit who thought Jesus had let him down. Focus on him this Easter.
* Hosanna = Save us!