Jesus entered through the gates of Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. The people spread garments on the road, waved palm branches and cheered, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." What a glorious day that must have been for Jesus and the disciples! But within a few short days, the cheers of adoration gave way to cries for death as the crowds yelled, "Crucify him!" What happened that turned the minds of the people from seeing a king worthy of a royal welcome to seeing a criminal worthy of the death penalty?
With centuries separating us from the events of Holy Week, it is easy for us to assume it would have been easy to spot the power of God in the man called Jesus. So what were his characteristics? He was kind, honest, confident, compassionate, just, indicting, challenging, rebellious and evasive. Hmmmm, easy right? Often we image Jesus as a man with a warm glow around his head and his arms extended to welcome all who love him. How often have we considered the Jesus that believed God favored the poor, oppressed, ailing, outcast and forgotten people. What would it mean for our understanding of God if we meditated on those final days of Jesus' time on earth and began to emulate that Jesus?
- How different would we hold the church accountable for its behavior? (Monday)
- How would we hear the passage of Luke 4:16-19? (Tuesday)
- Who would we count among our friends? (Wednesday)
- When we came to the table set for each of us, how differently would we partake of Christ? (Thursday)
- Would we have more courage to claim our faith in the crucified Lord? (Friday)
- Would the resurrection change from a idea to an actual experience for each of us? (Easter Sunday)
When we allow ourselves to walk in the sandals of Jesus during what we call Holy Week, we open our imaginations to understand the narrative of our faith more completely. I invite you to read your Bibles through the week and compare the accounts in each gospel. Try to put yourself in the place of different people within each story. What I hope you will find is a new understanding that crosses all time and space. God loves us in spite of our fear, hatred and waning loyalty and in the end - we win because Jesus lives!