Between Devotion and Rejection

0 comments Posted on March 25, 2013

palmsPalm Sunday, and the bitter irony of Easter is nowhere more evident than in this famous scene, described in all four of the Gospels:

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the King of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,

“Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.”

At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

The cruel irony is that within one week, the crowd that gladly welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem would be calling for his brutal death. Jesus was welcomed through the city gates like a king, but would soon be driven out of the same city, by many of the same people, to his death. The architect of their own salvation was staring them in the face, but when Jesus turned out to be a different sort of savior than the people wanted they turned their backs on him.

It’s not enough to condemn those who welcomed, and then rejected, Jesus during Palm Sunday and the subsequent Easter week events. We must ask ourselves-this week, and next week, and every week-whether our own lives are marked by that same fickleness, that same waffling between devotion and rejection. And we must never cease giving thanks that Jesus’ love for each of us proves stronger than our faithlessness.

 

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