Today is Palm Sunday, the day that commemorates Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on a young colt, with people waving palm fronds at him as he rode by, throwing down their garments to show their adoration for the arrival of the Messiah, singing Hosannas in praise.
On the actual day approximately two thousand years ago, there were the Jews that believed He was the Messiah, Jews that did not (Pharisees, etc.), Romans, and your average citizens of Jerusalem. To the Jews, the palm fronds were symbolic of the royal Messiah, hearkening back to the feast of Sukkot. To the Romans, they were a sign of victory. The appearance of the palm fronds made both groups angsty and excited. To the average citizen the green fronds were nothing special. It was a time of great unrest and upheaval.
Today, society is much the same. If Jesus were to ride into Jerusalem or New York City, I do not think the experience would be much different. There would be lovers, haters, spectators, the curious, and the indifferent. If he were to watch America’s political process today, he might think, “It’s deja vu all over again.”
Mary, Jesus’ mother, was following her son into Jerusalem along with all the other Marys. In the heart of an ordinary mother, there would be great anxiety and apprehension at seeing your child surrounded by a motley crowd. But I like to think that in Mary’s heart there was just a great sense of being present in the moment as well as peace. Because Mary, after all, believed. She knew all the prophecies. She had raised him to the living the first time. She did not say to him, “Child, don’t go there, don’t do that.” She just followed the flow and did not resist; in her heart she knew this was about fulfilling the destiny of love.
Did you know that the word Hosanna means “Save Us”? To read more about it, click here for a short article by John Piper on its etymology. My favorite line is: “The word moved from plea to praise; from cry to confidence.”
In the midst of political chaos around the world, what or who consoles you? I think you know my answer. It’s neither of the frontrunners.
Herewith concludes Day 35.