Why does the kingdom still stand?

Published 7:54 am Thursday, March 21, 2013

By Jake McCall

As a child when I would hear the story of Jesus, I wanted the story to be different. I wanted Jesus to prove that he was more powerful than his enemies by overcoming them and escaping his death.

That would have made him a real hero in my mind and would have been a convincing statement to all doubters. Looking back, I now see that I was missing the real victory. As we approach Resurrection Sunday, we will also celebrate Palm Sunday and Jewish history tells us that palm branches were a sign of victory over one’s enemy.

In John 12 when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, the Jewish people waved their branches in hopes that their king had arrived. The Gospels tell us that in just a few short days, crowds were no longer proclaiming allegiance to a king. Instead, crowds were shouting, “Crucify him!, Crucify him!”

Behind this hostile retraction was the fact that this crowd was looking only for a king that would lead Israel in defeating the Romans and re-establishing their nation as a world power. Therefore, when they realized that Jesus had no intentions of leading them in a military and political victory, they called not for his reign but for his end. Little did they realize that calling for the death of Christ was calling for the real victory.

You see, it was by his death and resurrection that he began his true reign. It was by his death and resurrection that true victory has been claimed over sin and over death. And it was by his death and resurrection that, through faith in this king, we are given the forgiveness of our sins and join in allegiance with Christ in his kingdom.

So, pull out the palm branches, but remember they do not symbolize a temporary king looking for a temporary victory. As other kingdoms fall, the kingdom of Christ still stands. It still stands because Jesus still lives.

Your palm branches symbolize an eternal king who forever lives and has claimed an everlasting victory.

—Jake McCall is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. he is the pastor at Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church.