He had performed miracles, taught in the Synagogues, cast out demons, healed the sick, raised the dead, forgave sin. And if that weren’t enough…

He claimed to be King.

“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”  Matthew 21:5

He claimed to be the fulfillment of prophecy.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

He claimed to be the long-awaited Messiah.

“The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’” John 4:25-26

He claimed to be the Son of God.

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’” Matthew 16:15-17

He claimed to be the Son of Man.

For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:8

He claimed to be the only way to heaven.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

He claimed to be the King of the Jews.

“Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’” Matthew 27:11

Jesus was all that and so much more.  And the Israelites were thrilled, for a while. But they had expectations of their Messiah that were simply not true.

They expected Him to set up an earthly kingdom, to end their suffering, to take over rule and provide for them, to sit on a throne and be their king.

And it’s in those wrong expectations where things went awry.

Things can go awry for us, too, when we conjure up in our minds a god who simply does not exist.  When life happens and what we expect this god of our imaginations – the god we’ve set inside our parameters, in our little box – to be and to do for us does not happen.  When we want God to conform to our image of Him, and we set up this false god as an idol and worship him, and then tragedy strikes, prayers aren’t answered, what we hear is silence, we can begin to shout “crucify Him!”

Oh, we may not use those words.  We may just stop praying, or reading the Bible, or going to church. We may stop trusting, or witnessing, or believing.  We may just stop walking with Him.

Throughout the week we’ll see that the disciples did that very thing.  Instead of listening and learning and believing the truth, even in the face of overwhelming fear, instead of allowing their expectations of a limitless, righteous, holy God Who can never put in a box to be changed, instead of throwing away their pride, they turned back.  They scattered.  They hid themselves in the darkness of the world.

But, there is redemption…