Palm Sunday

Mon, 04/18/2011 - 09:07 — Carrie

 Easter is my favorite holiday of the whole year. I love Easter. It, and the week preceding, represent the very climax of the Christian faith. Christ's death and resurrection. 

Before we can get to Easter, however, we have Palm Sunday. Some people celebrate Palm Sunday in a huge way. Special music at church, special sermon, etc... At my church, we just pass out palm branches. 

On the morning of Palm Sunday Jesus, who had been steadfastly heading toward Jerusalem for some time, knowing what was coming, made his final preparation to enter the city for the last time. He sent his disciples into the city to get a donkey colt for him to ride on. 

It was a new colt, one who had never been ridden. Jesus told them exactly where to find him, and what to say if someone asked why they were taking this colt that didn't belong to them. "The Lord hath need of him."

Seems like kind of a feeble reason. We know it's not, but if some random guy came into my driveway and started to drive my car away, and when I confronted him and he said, "Oh, the Lord needs it" I'm not so sure I wouldn't still call the police. Tongue

Yet this too God had worked out. They were able to take the colt with no opposition. The reason they gave to the one person who asked was good enough. 

And so Jesus got on the colt and entered the city.

Now, it was passover time. Only a few days away, in fact. Passover was a huge celebration for the Jews. Nearly every Jew would make his way to Jerusalem for the big day, and since it was a long journey, the city was already pretty full by this particular Sunday. Jesus had been traveling around the area for three years, and most people had either seen him, or certainly heard of himOf course they had. Wouldn't you tell everyone you knew about the guy who's going around healing people and raising the dead and turning a basket of food into enough for a huge crowd and calming storms and walking on water? 

So when Jesus came into the city, people got excited. Maybe some of them were expecting another miraculous healing. Perhaps some just wanted to get close to this popular guy. I'm sure there were plenty of Jesus-groupies in the crowd. 

And there were certainly people there who expected more. They were calling him King of the Jews, so they had heard what he called himself. Many no doubt expected a great conquerer. And what better time to overthrow the government than during the celebration of the Passover? It was, after all, the remembrance holiday for when the Jews were released from their bondage in Egypt, so wouldn't it be wonderfully ironic if, at the same time of year, they were released from the current Roman bondage? 

So we have the crowd. Worked into a frenzy by the very excitement of the event. Anyone who's ever been to a rally where a prominent politician shows up could probably relate. People get so, so excited and want to be close and hang on every word this amazing person has to say. Jesus was no exception. The crowd was crazy with excitement, and they showed it however they knew how. They waved leaves in the air, they put their coats down in front of him to walk on, they shouted his name and his title. They cheered, the screamed, the applauded, they celebrated. I'm sure many of them shoved to be closer to this great man. 

And yet, so few of them actually understood one important point. Jesus was far more than just a great man. They saw him as a human conquerer. They expected great things. Yet they had no idea just what kind of conquering he was really there for, or how he had to go about doing the great thing he was going to do. No one there had any idea the events that would follow in the coming week. Jesus, die? No way! Even the disciples, when told point blank by Jesus, didn't believe he would really die. 

The beginning of the end. Or perhaps it was the end of the beginning. He was in Jerusalem, and the passion week was about to start.

 


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