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Hopeful Desperation: Deferred

April 13, 2014

Day 1

“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

If only they knew…

That’s not what I’m here to do…


Hope is a pretty strong thing. It keeps a husband praying for his marriage in the midst of distrust. It keeps a mother cradling her child despite the risk of rebellion. It inspires a nation to rise against injustice.

The palm branches, the cloaks, the ticker-tape parade… all of it in expectation of the uprising, the hope of freedom from their captors.


If only they knew…


Some of us know the story. The people misunderstood the nature of the kingdom and God’s plan to redeem the world. The freedom to come wasn’t political; it was spiritual. He was about to turn the entire structure of Jewish belief on its head.

What was going through the grand marshal’s mind as he looked upon the people celebrating his arrival? Was there any hope? Or was he focused on what was to come just five days later?

He knew the truth.

This was a funeral procession.

Hope is a funny thing. It can persist in the midst of heavy, painful circumstances, but it doesn’t necessarily feel present. When I go to the dentist, I hope I don’t have any painful cavities, but when the dentist calls out “Caries, 14,” I’m not exactly experiencing active hope. I know I’ll be okay. I know Novocain and headphones will get me through the procedure, and there’s hope that I’ll be perfectly fine afterward. But it’s not present. It’s deferred hope.

Jesus knew what he was going to experience that week.


“One of my best friends will betray me.”

“I will be mocked publicly.”

“I will be beaten incessantly.”

“I might bleed out before they crucify me.”

“I will watch my best friend claim he doesn’t know me.”

“The people I love will scream for my death.”

“Unable to stand, I will be forced to carry the object of my murder.”

“I will feel every pound of the hammer as the iron splits the flesh of my wrists and ankles.

“I will die.”


I wonder how much hope he felt that day as people shouted “Hosanna!” I wonder how much he was thinking about what was to come.

I wonder if he wept that night.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. leebaileyseiler permalink
    April 13, 2014 9:17 pm

    Thank you so much Clayton. What an outstanding way to prepare my head and heart for the week to come. One of the things about Jesus that I (and many others I think) have struggled to understand is how and why God came to make the choice of helping us by coming to us in our form so that we would accept what we needed to understand. I feel that the series of events we celebrate this week is a big reason that many do not believe as we do, it is simply too hard to comprehend that a man could choose to go through this for not just someone else, but for many who hated him and for so many who would not be born for centuries. I am going to set aside some time each day this week to simply try to imagine sitting and walking beside Him as he “lives” his last week. I hope I understand him a bit better as a result and me too I guess.

    • thebassoflife permalink*
      April 15, 2014 8:43 am

      Thanks, Lee! There’s a lot more to this week than the empty tomb on Sunday. The journey of the buildup is quite a story!

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