When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”
(Acts 1:6 MSG)
When Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, the people threw a celebration fit for a king to welcome Him:
Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, “Hosanna to David’s son!” “Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!” “Hosanna in highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9)
Jesus did enter as a King, just not the king they were expecting. The Jews wanted a Messianic King who would overthrow Rome and restore the kingdom to Israel. We hear this hope expressed on the lips of the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, as they talked to the risen Christ without realizing it, “We had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel” (Luke 24:21). And prior to Jesus’ ascension, the disciples once again asked Him, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?” to which He replied, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business” (Acts 1:6-7).
My best friend sent me a message, asking if I thought the pandemic we’re facing is a sign of the apocalypse, as described in the Biblical book of Revelation. I told her that I believe we’re living in the end of times and Jesus is coming back, but I don’t know if this is it yet. All I know is that I want to live like it is. I was reminded of recent dreams I’ve had of Jesus coming back and then thought about it some more. What if today He returns as the Triumphant King to reign over us forever? What if Jesus is coming back to finally usher in the Kingdom we’ve been longing for? Are we ready?
In Revelation chapter 7, the Apostle John described a celebration scene in heaven, not very different from the one we see on Palm Sunday:
I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there—all nations and tribes, all races and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing: Salvation to our God on his Throne! Salvation to the Lamb! (vv.7-10)
Let’s be ready to welcome our Triumphant King! He is coming back!