When You came riding down the mountain, we adored You. Here was the King, our King, at last. The King we wanted. The King who fit the shape of our making.
Surely the man who cowed the Pharisees could speak in the halls of great men. Those hands that fed us from nothing would never let us starve. The healing that sprang up everywhere You were could only mean hope for us. And when that greatest thief, death, took Your friend, You simply called his name and he came tottering out to fall at Your feet. Surely death is ended for all of us. Surely this is our King.
On this the road of Your triumph, You stopped. Stood on the edge of the mountain, the city spread out below You, ready for its King. The shouts fell silent as You wept. We watched bewildered as our King in his triumphal procession sobbed in agony over the city of his kingdom.
We should have known then how little we understood of You, how small were our expectations.
What did You see hovering over our small enemies, those petty men who were really just ourselves?
A thief greater than death. A gathering, a leering lurking evil, rising and rising like a stench to the very throne of heaven.
There You stood, staring into the mouth of hell, knowing the force that held us fast. “They have no idea,” the enemy sneered, and You, knowing full well, rode on down into Your death, and more than death.
We called it triumphal, Your coming. I wonder what You called it? We sang You, spread our meager praise before You, little understanding at what cost Your kingdom should come. But You knew. And You rode on, loving us beyond our understanding. As You always do.