When Expectations Meet The Unexpected

Have you ever expected something to happen because of details you heard or saw only to have the unexpected happen?

Last weekend was Palm Sunday which is considered the beginning of the Holy Week. We can read this account in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (the four gospels) of the Bible.
People had lined the streets of Jerusalem with palm branches shouting halleluiahs as Jesus enter the city on a donkey.  They expected Jesus to come in and set up a new kingdom. They had heard him talk about this new kingdom. They expected him to be their new King. They were shouting Hosanna, here comes the king as he rode past them into the city.
Have you ever put expectations on Jesus only to have them not fulfilled? I know I have. When this happens I become discouraged, disappointed, even depressed. I could even go so far as to say I get angry with God. If you just raised an eyebrow thinking you’ve never been mad at God, I would say you are not being totally honest! We just don’t like to admit the fact we have gone on that emotional rollercoaster where we feel like we’ve suddenly dead-ended to a place of no hope.
This is what happened with these people in Jerusalem.  Just a few days earlier they were shouting hosanna, and now they’re yelling “crucify him.” The expectation that Jesus was coming as the new King to set up a new kingdom has been crushed away. They were upset, they were mad, they were angry.
The unexpected happened.
Jesus was arrested. People scattered, even his own disciples who were so close to him while he was here on earth scattered, one betrayed him, one denied him.  Now he was headed to the cross to die a horrific death for which he was guilty of nothing.
Then once again the unexpected happened.
Jesus did die, then three days later He rose from the dead. He defeated death. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first, then his disciples and many more before he ascended into heaven. Hope was restored. Hope was renewed. Look what can happen in just three days!
When I have prayed and believed God for something and then the unexpected happens, I am learning to truly trust that God has a better way—a better plan. He knows the future, not me. He knows what I need best in my life… better than what I think!
The thing is—when the unexpected happens, they were only unexpected to us. God knew. He always knows.
Jesus knew he had to go to the cross. He was making a way for us to have a hope and a future. He endured the cross because he knew the future joy that was before Him (Hebrews 12:2).
The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus is hope renewed. It is where the unexpected meet the expected.
We will continue to have the unexpected happen in our lives.

We also have the expected hope that Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, is with us.

My prayer is as we enter into this weekend when we celebrate victory over death that we can look at the Resurrection with renewed hope and truly celebrate what Jesus has done for you and me.
I am believing that those hopes and dreams that have died and the disappointments of life will be resurrected with new life and renewed hope.  But the reality is that all of our hopes and dreams and disappointments are temporary.
I want to remember what Jesus did for me (and for you) as he hung on that cross. He was making a way for you and I to have a right relationship with a holy God.  Jesus took all my sin and shame and bore them on that cross. Amazing Grace.
So for me, the next time the unexpected happens I will expect Jesus’ perfect plan to be at work. I will hold on to His promises and His Word to carry me through.
While there is breath in my lungs…there is ALWAYS Hope! I won’t give up. I will continue to hope knowing that Jesus is working all things out.
I pray this for you as well.
Blessings to you as you remember the Resurrection!