Plans. How many times have we made plans, whether it’s for the day or plans for our lives, sometimes they come together the way we want, and other times they do not. I just finished reading David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. He spent time talking about ways to be more productive, leaning on capturing your ideas and remembrances with Post-It Notes, calendaring, and lists. I usually take time every evening to plan out what I’m going to do for the next day.
But what do you do when you get that phone call that one of your parents is sick or has died? That your child got into trouble at school? That you’re overdrawn on your checking? That your boss wants to talk to you, and the conversation lasts for about 30 seconds because you’ve been informed you’ve been fired? Or that argument that happened that just wasn’t on your list of things to do? Or a misunderstanding that has made you lose a friend? We don’t plan for these things. We can plan all we want, but there’s just some things that we do not expect.
As we look at this passage depicting why we observe this day known as Palm Sunday, we need to recognize this litany:
God has a plan.
We can know that plan.
It may not be your plan.
Know the difference!
Three Dog Night sang a song called “Sure As I’m Sitting Here” back in the early 70s which has the line, “You don’t have to look for God, he’s just sitting here. And I think he’s got a plan, but it’s not too clear.” Well, we may not know the details, but we know enough to where we can move.
God has a plan to do exactly what we ask, and we ask because we know that is His plan! But at times we come along and believe we have a bead on His plan or know how He will fulfill it.
We see this in Matthew 21:1-11, we are most familiar with this if we’ve been in church world any amount of time. But in this passage, we see Jesus interested retrieving a donkey and her colt for some purpose. Later on, we see that as Jesus rode this donkey into Jerusalem where folks threw their coats on the ground and waved palm branches, and started shouting, “Hosanna!”–which means, “Save us!”
But as we read this, we see a number of things:
- Jesus was sent into the world “to save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) and by going to Jerusalem, we see the end of his three year ministry and the climax of his redemptive work.
- This fulfilled a plan that God initiated not just from before the world, but was specifically spoken of in Zechariah 9:9 (quoted in that passage).
- When Jesus instructed two of his disciples to fetch those two animals, it happened just as He said it would.
- He was initiating his own coronation by these actions, and He would be their King, especially on the other side of the cross and empty tomb!
But there are times when we do not know the difference between God’s plan and ours, assuming His plan is ours and ours is His. We must know the difference.
When the crowd shouted, “Save us!” it was from Rome. When the Father sent His Son to save us, it was from our sins! Inside them was an enemy greater than Rome. Inside us is an enemy greater than North Korea, Russia, Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton (depending on your political persuasion).
The enemy is sin which takes us away from God’s design and into brokenness. In the Israelites brokenness in Jesus’ time, they thought the way to rescue and restoration was a revolutionary coming along to kick Rome to the curb. But their enemy would still be there–their sin and brokenness before God! Only the good news of Jesus who came to rescue us from our sin and restore us to God’s purpose.
We need to repent and trust in the One who can deliver us from our primary enemy. His work on the cross is that instrument of rescue that covers our sin. His resurrection proclaims the victory that the plan was executed to perfection!
God has his plans.
We can know his plans.
They may be different that ours.
Know the difference!