He was called “one of the bravest persons alive,” but he wasn’t what others expected. Desmond was a soldier who declined to carry a gun. Serving as a medic, in one battle he single-handedly rescued seventy-five injured soldiers from harm, including some who once called him a coward and ridiculed him for his faith. Running into heavy gunfire, Desmond prayed continually, “Lord, please help me get one more.” He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.
God’s Word tells us that Jesus was even more misunderstood. On a day foretold by the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9), Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the crowd waved branches, shouting “Hosanna!” (an exclamation of praise meaning “Save!”). Reenacting Psalm 118:26, they cried: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13). But the very next verse in that psalm refers to bringing a sacrifice “with boughs in hand” (118:27). While the crowd anticipated an earthly king to save them from Rome, Jesus was much more. He was King of Kings and sacrifice—God in the flesh, walking willingly toward the cross to save us from our sins—a purpose prophesied centuries earlier.
“At first his disciples did not understand all this,” John writes. Only later “did they realize that these things had been written about him” (John 12:16). Illumined by His Word, God’s eternal purposes became clear. He loves us enough to send a mighty Savior!