April 10, 2014This Sunday marks the beginning of "Holy Week". We celebrate Palm Sunday this week remembering Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey as hundreds of thousands of people cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" John 12:13. Jesus rides into a Jerusalem beset with problems and crisis. It is an environment of religious tension, political unrest, oppression and relational division. Yet Jesus rides in in total control though everything seems to be out of control.
I imagine if you were there and were to ask the people around you what was going on, you would have gotten a variety of responses and opinions based upon what that person's feelings were about Jesus. In the coming week Jesus would illicit a variety of responses: love, hate, disappointment, rage, indifference, loyalty, betrayal, etc.
I suspect the same is true today. Ask a variety of people what Palm Sunday means to them and based upon what they think of Jesus, you could probably find all of those same responses that the people expressed over 2000 years ago. People will shape their opinions based upon their religious background, their experience with church, the cultural environment they live in, if they have had good or bad relationships with Christians, etc etc.
The challenge is that unless we have had a personal encounter with the person of Jesus Christ our opinions will be shaped by things that are most likely wrong, skewed, or misguided.
So, if someone were to ask you what Palm Sunday was all about, what would you say?