Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's Palm Sunday!

They call it the "Triumphal Entry," Jesus' walk into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to begin Holy Week.

Where was the triumph, at that point, I'm wondering right now? People were cheering and parading behind him like he was the spiritual equivalent of Brad Pitt. But on a donkey. He hadn't conquered anything yet.

Before he entered the city, the Bible says that Jesus looked over the land and wept for the people, those he so longed to take under His wing. He literally says He longed to gather them to Himself like a hen gathers her chicks.

And they said "No thanks." They just didn't believe He could love them so much.

His heart broke for his lost lambs.

They shouted and cheered to his face, but doubted Him in their hearts. 

Where's the triumph in that?

Where's the triumph in the following days marked with agony, betrayal, trials, beatings, confusion, and loss?

I heard a perspective yesterday on what Jesus knew He would endure on the cross. I'm not talking about what he went through physically, although that alone would be more than any of us could bear. I'm talking about what he endured emotionally, spiritually. It struck me in a new way.

I heard it in an excerpt from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Yeah, it's for kids.

And oh, how it's for grown ups too.

"Papa! Father!" Jesus cried. And he fell to the ground. "Is there any other way to get your children back? To heal their hearts? To get rid of the poison?"

But Jesus knew - there was no other way. All the poison of sin was going to have to go into his own heart.

God was going to pour into Jesus' heart all the sadness and brokenness in people's hearts. He was going to pour into Jesus' body all the sickness in people's bodies. God was going to have to blame his son for everything that had gone wrong. It would crush Jesus.

But there was something else, something even more horrible. When people ran away from God, they lost God - it was what happened when they ran away. Not being close to God was like a punishment. Jesus was going to take that punishment. 

Jesus knew what that meant. He was going to lose his Father - and that, Jesus knew, would break his heat in two. 

Where, I ask, is the triumph in that?

On the horizon, soon to come.

Have a blessed day.


  1. Im teaching this lesson to my Sunday School class today and then at kids church tonight. It deeply saddens me that only a week later these people were screaming for Jesus to be crucified! I heard a radio preacher talking about it later and comparing it to us. We put so much stock in what people think of us, what they say. Yet they can turn in an instant on us.
    Jesus gave it all...humbly, freely. Its such a heavy weight on me just how much He truly did for us.
    Happy Palm Sunday my friend!

  2. I am often touched by the way the children's bible puts stories. this is so good to remember and read....and feel in my soul. thanks for sharing!