Their little hands waving high their palm branches. The sound of voices singing “Crown Him with Many Crowns” permeating the air. On this day, we remember Jesus triumphal entry; riding on a donkey just as the prophet had foretold. This day changes everything as we shift from “Hosanna in the Highest heaven” to “Crucify him!”
Do we realize the truth of this story–that the blood of Jesus is on our hands and our children’s children? Too often we gloss that part of the story over. We forget how guilty the crowd and even us are. Yet the reality is that we are just as guilty. We so easily like Peter and Judas deny and betray Jesus. Does Jesus not come to die on a cross because of our sins? Is he not the one who dies because God loves us that much?
As he rode into the city, people were still asking, “Who is this?” Did they truly not know or where they protesting? In a matter of moments, Jesus was handed over and we stand as he is nailed to the cross. The cross–a wooden beam–a reminder of God’s scandalous love for all of us. But how often do we jump from Palm Sunday to Easter without experiencing the depth and truth of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday?
Every day the world wakes to the brokenness of the world. This morning, we woke to the news of the church shootings near Cairo, Egypt. It is in moments like these that I see myself standing at the foot of the cross; with Jesus blood dripping from my own hands. How can we treat each other like this? Why can we not let each other worship peacefully? God is continually calling us “to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.”
From the palm branches to the nails to the empty tomb, Christ fulfills the prophesy and reminds us that he is indeed a prophet; a prophet sent to overcome death and the grave; a prophet who continually awakens the world to God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness and love; and a prophet who tells us to tell and retell this profound story.
“Hosanna in the highest heaven. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”–Matthew 21: 9
Yet are we willing to share the message of this prophet knowing that he comes to flip over tables and turn the world upside down?