Palm Sunday and Jesus enters the city knowing what’s ahead. Gethsemane has revealed his heart – there’s a deep pain there, but his face is set like flint towards Jerusalem.
He will face the forces of darkness; but also the dismay of those closest to him; and the disappointment of a people group yearning for freedom from Roman oppression.
The crowd’s yearning is given voice in their battle cry as Jesus approaches – “Hosanna”. Their longing was for a violent uprising, but Jesus’ longing was for his Father’s will to be completed. He was ready to take up his cross and die – to the (temporary) delight of his enemies and the (equally temporary) devastation of his friends.
Jesus is not into people pleasing, but Father-pleasing. His popularity had soared around the feeding of the 5000, but people soon began to drift away in ever greater numbers.
In this sense, Holy Week is a microcosm of his ministry: the fleeting attention of a multitude, followed by rejection and a fast dwindling number of followers. To repeatedly brave that sort of rejection takes a huge heart.
Five days after Jesus entered Jerusalem he was brutally nailed to a cross, and if the story ended there, we’d say that he was an absolute failure.
But the story doesn’t end there, does it. Does it?
Yours, Pastor David