Palm Sunday

March 20, 2016

It was quite an entrance. I mean I have always dreamed of riding into the big city on a baby donkey, haven’t you? Then there were the palms. Branches and cloaks spread out for Him to ride over. Not quite a red carpet, but I guess it would have to do. The shouts of the people ‘Hosanna!’, ’Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’, ‘Hosanna in the highest!’ The crowd lining the streets, His closest friends surrounding him as He entered into the city, He must have felt like a king. He might have felt like their king. And He was. Just not the one they expected.

I have often wondered what was running through the heart and mind of Jesus on that Sunday so many years ago. Only He knew what was coming. Only He fully understood what He was really entering into. Everyone else was celebrating. He must have been filled with dread. Everyone else had expectations of an amazing takeover. His mind was on the ultimate surrender. It was quite the entrance, one fit for a king. Just not the one they expected.

There is a song I sang in a choir many times as we closed out our Palm Sunday services. The song is filled with dissonant chords and powerful dynamic changes, all designed to heighten the senses to the experience. But what stands out above it all, are the words.

“See how Jerusalem bends it’s knee, welcoming God’s own Son. Hear how they shout triumphantly, blessed is He who comes…But where will they be, and what will they say, in just five days?”

As we enter in to another Holy week, it is my hope that we can all put ourselves in the crowds surrounding Jesus that day. Maybe you’re one of the many Romans, just someone there to take everything in and see what the whole ‘Jesus’ thing is all about. Maybe you’re like one of the Jews, there to shout and scream and welcome the hope of your freedom, and your return to power. You might even be like one of the disciples, feeling on top of the world, like you know this Jesus and have the future all figured out. Whatever your role, please do not be immune to the fact that the reality of that procession, plays out each and every day in our world when it comes to Jesus. Some have come to check him out. Some are hoping to use him for something they cannot achieve in their own. Some think they know Him, and His plans for our world. But each of us, if we are honest, know that in just a few short moments, our perspective and perception can change. We can go from praise to pangs, from proclamations to petitions, from palms to persecution. It doesn’t always take 5 whole days.

So as you remember and celebrate this week, guide your heart towards the heart of Jesus. Think how He must have thought. Feel how he must have felt. Experience the week that was. The entrance was only the beginning of a plan that changed the world, and changes worlds even still. I’m sure it was something to behold. He was coming to be our king. Just not the one we expected.

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