by ProfDave, ©2022

(Apr. 12, 2021) — Sunday was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week for Christians.  On the day foretold by the prophet Daniel (9) centuries earlier, and as described by Isaiah 62 and Zechariah 9, Jesus presented himself to Jerusalem as the “Anointed Prince,” the Messiah, riding on a donkey and cleansing the Temple. 

To this point, Jesus of Nazareth had taught with uncanny authority and a power beyond this world, leaving a trail of healed bodies and souls in his wake.  Large crowds of simple folk and unsavory characters gathered to hear him.  Until now, he had evaded those who wanted to make him some kind of a king.  But for those in leadership, he was a dangerous outsider and a definite threat to the status quo.  Now he rode straight into confrontation, accepting royal adulation, and driving the High Priest’s concessionaires out of the Court of the Gentiles.

But this was a strange “march on Jerusalem,” beginning with Jesus weeping over the city.  Some “triumphal entry.”  He bore no weapon but his heart.  His challenge was not to the Roman occupation, but to the religious establishment.  The Gospel of John clearly shows him goading the stuffed shirts of the Temple to recognize who he was.  Was that why they did away with him?  Because they knew – and rejected?  Or maybe not.  What would you have done in their shoes?

We don’t like a real God or his messenger to show up, do we?  Least of all do religious people.  Least of all religious leaders in full enjoyment of their perks – honor, wealth, power.  And the rest of us are ready with the palm branches on the bandwagon as long as it looks promising, but along the via dolorosa we cry “crucify him.”  Don’t we?  Take up your cross and follow?  No, thanks! 

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  1. What would you have done in their shoes?
    This is a question I have asked myself… and others over the years… knowing what we now know. Without His suffering… sacrifice… death… and resurrection… our salvation would depend upon the law… whereupon… each one of us would be found guilty. Our presence, at the marriage supper of the Lamb… would show our wedding garments to be soiled… filthy rags… and we would then be cast out into everlasting darkness.
    What would you have done in their shoes? I think I would break down… in tears and repentance… and do… in absolute remorse and brokenness… what was done in anger and pride… in order to fulfill God’s perfect plan. Better yet, I might choose to be the thief by His side who did not partake in the rush to crucify… yet because he turned to Christ in his own brokenness… rejoiced that day with Him in paradise.