I’m not a fan of parades. You’ve heard the phrase “don’t rain on my parade”. When I was a kid I prayed for rain on parade days. I just didn’t see the point. I preferred playing baseball with my friends.
But one parade I think would’ve enjoyed was the day Jesus came into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday. Yesterday we asked people to take home palm branches to keep for the week – not as a good luck charm but as a reminder of what week this represents as the beginning of the last week of Jesus on earth as a human man. We read in John 12:13 that they welcomed him with palm branches. The hopes for a Messiah were at an all-time high. Jesus had created a big stir recently with the resurrection of Lazarus.
As He came in on the donkey people shouted Hosanna. And laid the palm branches in front of Him. I wonder if they expected after this fulfillment of prophecy if He would then get on a white horse and organize the Jews and lead them to destroy Rome. We don’t know.
But something happened between Sunday and Friday. I don’t know for sure if the same people who shouted “Hosanna” on Sunday shouted “Crucify Him” on Friday. Maybe it was a different group. But I could see some of them doing this. People are fickle if God doesn’t act how they want Him to act.
There’s a painting of the crucifixion which shows the three crosses, the crowds and the soldiers as you would expect. But this one painting is a little different. On a road in the corner of the picture is a donkey nibbling on a palm branch.
That road on which Jesus came into Jerusalem went right down from Bethpage and Bethany past the Mt. of Olives where just a few days later He would go to Gethsemane to pray. I’ve wondered if after He was arrested when they led Him back into town if He saw some of those palm branches. I wonder how different my life looks from Sunday – singing Hosanna (as we did yesterday) to how it looks through the week. I wonder if the rest of my week is starting to be more consistent with what I say and sing on Sundays. Let me just say how thankful I am for God’s grace and mercy.