Pastor's Pondering


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He Who is to Come

by Duane Mabee on March 22, 2018

One of the simplest titles of Jesus is “He Who is to Come”.  John the Baptist used it of Jesus on several occasions.  He introduced Jesus saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’” (John 1:15 ESV).  Toward the end of his life when John experienced some confusion over Jesus’ identity, he sent messengers to Jesus to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Matt 11:3 ESV).  Jesus affirmed that He was the One to come by pointing to the things He was doing. 


Lazarus’ sister, Martha also referred to Jesus as the One Who is to Come.  Martha was confused about why Jesus had not prevented her brother from dying.  But, even in her confusion, she acknowledged Jesus as the One Who is to Come.  “She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’” (John 11:21 ESV). 


“He Who is to Come” was more of an expectation than a title.  God promised a coming Messiah and all His promises are tied to “He Who is to Come”.  That’s why the Jews eagerly awaited the coming of this promised One.


While there may have been some question in peoples’ minds as to whether Jesus was the One to Come, on Palm Sunday He removed all doubt.  When He mounted a donkey’s colt and rode into the city, Jesus intentionally declared that He was the One Who is to Come.  He stated that all of God’s promises were tied to Him.  The people recognized what Jesus was claiming.  Why else would people line the roads and lay their coats – their best “going to the biggest festival of the year” coats – on the road to be walked on by a donkey? 


It’s also why the people shouted – in ear shot of the Romans – “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38 ESV).  “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!  Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-10 ESV).  They knew what Jesus was claiming. 


What they didn’t know is that He would secure the promises of God by dying on a cross.  No one could have anticipated that.  They expected Him to come as a conquering King.  They also didn’t know that this was just His first coming.  He will come again, and it is at His second coming that He will come as the conquering King they expected.  He did conquer the first time.  But, He conquered in a totally unexpected way.  He conquered through the cross.  He conquered sin, death, and hell.  He conquered everything that keeps us apart from God.  He came to die on that cross, so we can be adopted as God’s dearly loved children.  So, we too can shout “Hosanna!  Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!”  But, we can shout it with much fuller understanding and appreciation of what He came to do.