Holy Week's Passover
I’ve been thinking so much about this holy week before Easter Sunday. Yesterday was Palm Sunday, when the crowds in Jerusalem laid down their coats before the Lord, welcoming Him with excitement when they thought He’d come to do what they wanted Him to do (Mark 11:1-11). They thought He’d come to deliver Israel from Rome’s oppressive rule. They thought He’d come to usher in a period of prosperity. He had in fact come to be King, but they thought their King was going to do what they wanted, what they expected, what they believed was in their best interest.
Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday at church. Worship was loud and, well, triumphant, and I watched several younger people worship with abandon and joy.
And I found myself longing.
Hear me say this—I do not know those people and I do not know their stories. But watching them, I remembered what I had felt when I was their age. And I began to long for the days when I thought I knew what God was doing, when I thought He had come to do what I expected Him to do.
I longed for the days when I was pretty sure I had Him figured out. When I took off my coat and laid it before Him, welcoming Him as King, believing He’d come to do what I wanted Him to do.
And then He didn’t.
Yesterday, I looked over at those younger adults worshipping, and I remembered the coat I’d taken off to lay before Him. I remembered the abandon and the trust and the confidence.
And I wondered where it had gone.
Where will we go when Sunday’s triumph fades into Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays of stillness?
Where will we run when we realize He has not come to do our will?
Will we fade into the backdrop, content to dwell in the remnants of the world we wish He’d made?
The words of a song have been playing in my head for weeks and I cannot shake them: “Hope is gone and she confessed, when you lay your dream to rest, you can get what's second best, but it's hard to get enough.”
God may not have done what we expected, but He is still the One our hearts long for.
If we’ve discarded that longing to salvage what we can of what we hoped He’d do, we can get what’s second best—but we will never get enough.
Where will we go when the One who entered in triumph marches toward His death?
Where will I go when the One who came with such promise seems to have a plan all His own?
Will I make my way back to my living room to sit in the scraps of the life I wish He’d made for me?
Or will I find myself at His table? Will I find the place He’s set for me at the feast He’s longed to eat with me?
Between the palm branches and the splintered cross, “[Jesus] said to [His disciples], ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer’” (Luke 22:15).
Will I sit down at His Passover table during this holiest week and find the God who hoped I’d come?
In the deepest part of our deepest desires, it’s what we long for—to come into His presence and find ourselves welcomed there.
It’s what I’m remembering this Passover day: He came for me! He didn’t do what the world expected. He didn’t bring the immediate relief the people of His day had hoped for.
Instead, He brought eternal relief from the bondage of sin, from the plague of death.
He brought freedom and joy and peace. And He beckons us from the shadows of our own imitations of the things we think we need—from the simulated security we’ve erected in these castles that we guard, from the ever-elusive second-bests that will never be enough. He beckons us from these shadows and He calls us to His light.
He pulls the chair out for us and kneels to wash our feet (John 13), and we recoil in fear because what King washes the feet of ones so unworthy?
And He whispers that we’re worth it.
“The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” (1 Corinthians 11:23b-25, ESV)
He didn’t do what they expected. Instead, He chose to give what they could not have known they needed. He knew precisely what He was doing even when they did not.
Will we let go of our hoard of second-bests? I don’t know about you, but they’re awfully hard to hold, and they always leave me longing for just a little more.
If we’ll dare to dine with Him this week, we may not find the One that we expected, but I suspect we’ll find the One our hearts have craved.
 Wilcox, David. “Eye of the Hurricane,” How Did You Find Me Here. A&M Records, 1989.
You can read other posts about the Passover and how to celebrate the spring feasts here: