Have you ever had your expectations broken? Maybe you went out on a date. You really seemed to hit it off. You expected there would be a second date. But it never happened. Or you went on a job interview. It seemed to go really well. You expected a call back. But the phone never rang.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday. When Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem, people gathered from all around to welcome him. They shouted and cheered. They laid down their coats and palm branches along his path, the first century equivalent of a red carpet treatment.
Why so extravagant welcome? Because they had expectation of Jesus. He would be their warrior king. He would free them from Roman occupation. Imagine their disappointment when he raised no army.
To the contrary, he gave up his own life as a sacrifice for others. Sometimes it can be disappointing when our expectations are not met. But do you know what I’ve discovered? I’ve found that when Jesus is involved, he often exceeds our expectations in ways we never imagined.
The Jews wanted someone to save Jerusalem from occupation. Jesus came to save all the world from sin. They wanted to live their remaining years with their own ruler. Jesus wanted them to live eternally with God.
When we are disappointed by something, when our expectations are not met, sometimes it can be hard to see in the moment how God might be in that. But as it says in Romans 8:28 “In all things God works for the good of those who love him.”
When that date doesn’t work out, it’s hard to see that God is preparing the way for someone who is perfect for us. When we don’t land that job, it’s hard to see in the moment that God is keeping us available for the better job that he really wants for us.
In those moments when our expectations are not met, we must trust that God has something even greater in mind for us. This is the essence of faith, believing even when we cannot see, and trusting God even when we don’t fully understand.
I hope each and every one of you will be with us this week as we celebrate Palm Sunday and wrap up our Imperfect series on the life of Peter.