DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why didn’t Jesus take advantage of his popularity and allow the people to proclaim him their king? With such strong support he could have done a lot of good, it seems to me. — K.C.
Yesterday, millions of Christians across the world celebrated what we call Palm Sunday — the day Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey and was enthusiastically greeted by large crowds waving palm branches and other greenery. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” they declared (Mark 11:9).
Could Jesus at that moment have led a popular revolt against the Romans, who ruled over the Holy Land? Quite possibly, but that wasn’t his purpose. He knew any revolt against the Romans could lead to prolonged bloodshed (as it did several decades later in that part of the world). He also knew that political power alone can never solve our deepest problems.
Instead, Jesus came for one reason: to reconcile us to God. God created us, and our lives are only fulfilled when we know him and follow his will for our lives. But our sins have turned us away from God, and our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven and our lives transformed by his power within us. Through his death on the cross Jesus made this possible, and that is why he came. He declared, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
The greatest discovery you will ever make is that God loves you, and Christ gave his life so you could come to know God personally. May this Easter season truly become a time of celebration for you, as you turn to Christ for the forgiveness you need and commit your life without reserve to him.