Palm Sunday was the entryway to the place of crucifixion. And what a day it was. The mass hysteria of the crowd chanting praise to God and worshipping Jesus. So what is the story about? Here is a crowd who welcomed Jesus as king, despite what he had told them. This crowd had a dream. They dreamed of Israel restored to its ancient glory under God’s Messiah, the promised descendant of David. They undoubtedly hoped Jesus would expel the Romans and set up a powerful, independent, glorious kingdom. Their shouts, as Jesus rode slowly toward Jerusalem, revealed the dream that possessed them completely: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
As they came to Jerusalem shouting, the elated crowd would have envisioned an expanded city of power and influence, destined to become the centre of a kingdom that would rule over the world. How selfish the singing crowd was. They saw in Jesus the solution to the problems of the day. They thought his armies would drive out the hated Romans. They believed what they wanted to believe about him.
That Jesus came to save them from themselves and restore them to God was the furthest thing from their minds. They expected Jesus to produce instant results. The crowd became very disappointed. Days later these same people shouted “crucify him! Crucify him!” Jesus knew all this so when he saw the city he wept. What Jesus saw was not an expanded city, but crumbled ruins. What Jesus heard was not the misguided praise, but the wailing and crying of the victims who would suffer there. And Jesus wept.
What do we make of this fascinating, well known story? What do we make of Jesus at this time? We will explore that together on Sunday morning as part of our series, ‘Following Jesus to the Cross’.
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