On Palm Sunday some 2,000 years ago, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as people lined the street and cheered.
At the risk of heresy, I was wondering this morning if he enjoyed the adulation. After all, as man, he experienced all the emotions we as people feel, and, as God, well, didn’t he deserve it?
I was in Luke 19 reading about the crowd tossing their coats on the road as Jesus rode by. Curious about what he was doing before that moment, I turned back a few chapters to Luke 13 to discover: He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Always, always, always was Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. He knew what was going to happen there, yet he wasn’t deterred. And in his wake, the blind saw, children were blessed, lepers cleansed, and the greedy converted.
Are we not also traveling toward Jerusalem? Toward Zion, that city which will one day descend from the sky and be our eternal home?
John tells us in Revelation 21 that he saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth – our earth, the death-riddled, disease-burdened, war-bloodied lonelybrokenmournful earth – had passed away. He hears a loud voice from heaven saying,
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
No more sorrow, tears, pain, death.
Jesus left behind restoration, transformation, and confirmation on his donkey ride of death-to-life.
What are we leaving in our wake as we journey toward Jerusalem?
I think back on my last week – aid not extended, harsh words unbridled, succor withheld – and am ashamed.
Best instead to throw my cloak on the road, raise up a palm, and shout Hosanna!
As man, he understands.
And as God, he deserves it all.
This Palm Sunday, may you find peace as you journey toward Jerusalem.