Palm Sunday is observed in the Church every year. It
marks the moment, as recorded above, when Jesus
triumphantly entered Jerusalem. As he arrived at the
city, the crowds gathered and, as was the tradition
when a monarch entered a city, laid their cloaks and
palm branches in his path. They celebrated by
shouting Hosanna, which means "save us, we pray,"
and they cheered their coming hero. Of course, the
passage is loaded with irony considering that the
crowds would soon be shouting "crucify him!" It is
common to assume that these same people who welcomed
him one day, turned on him the next day, but this is
not necessarily the case, instead we should remember
Jerusalem was a significant city and there was
unlikely to have been tremendous overlap between the
people outside the city who were welcoming Jesus and
those who wanted him dead.
I share all this with you to show the depth of the
Palm Sunday story. It is not just a simple
celebration, but is instead a complex ritual
bringing Jesus into conversation with the political
leaders of the day. As we consider our faith in
light of this story it is equally important for us
to remember the richness of that faith; its depth
and breadth, and to cultivate that in our own lives.
When we celebrate Christ, what exactly are we
celebrating? Who do we believe he is in our lives?
Questions like these often have superficially simple
answers, but are also much more complex if we simply
allow them to be. Jesus is in our lives, the Lord
and Savior for whom we have been praying. But what
does that really mean?
Prayer: Holy God, on this day please fill me with faith and hope in
you. I want to follow Christ, and I want to go where he leads me.
Help me to find the way. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
[Phil Blackburn, First Presbyterian Church]