Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem was obviously headed for a collision with the powerful Roman empire – a collision that would cost him his life and change history forever. Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem may have begun with crowds shouting Hosanna but it ends with Good Friday and shouts of “crucify him”. It doesn’t end with a gold crown but with a crown of thorns. (Read entire article)
It’s Holy week and Jesus’ journey towards the cross has begun. Most of us know that Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant procession into Jerusalem on donkey’s back but few of us are aware of the deeper and very subversive implications of this event. As we walk through holy week towards the cross, Jesus’ actions become more and more subversive. We have in fact entered the most subversive week of Jesus’ life.
Jesus’ radical procession thumbed its nose at the Roman Empire with its power and wealth. Then he headed to the temple, overturned the tables and threw out the moneylenders proclaiming loud and clear to the religious leaders that their alignment with the power of Rome was totally unacceptable to God. He caps the week off with a Passover meal, not revealing himself as an emperor messiah his followers hoped for, but washing feet, indelibly imprinting on his disciples this final image of a slave, the last loving act of an upside down king.
What is Your Response?
As we walk from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, where is your allegiance? Take some time to sit quietly in the presence of God and evaluate your commitment to this servant Christ. All of us follow Jesus with mixed motives. In what ways do you truly follow Jesus, fully aware that you are on a collision course with the values of our secular culture? In what ways do you only follow Jesus for wealth, power and happiness? What changes might God ask of you as you walk with Jesus towards Jerusalem and the Cross?
“When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer… his unique opportunity lies in the way he bears his burden.” Victor Frankl
Jesus’ triumphal entry ends on the Cross as he takes into himself all the pain and suffering of our world so that together we can celebrate the beginning of a new procession on Easter Sunday – a procession that leads us into God’s banquet feast and the wonder of God’s eternal world.
There is no concise reading of the events of Holy Week in the gospels. In all gospels, they spread over several chapters. Take time this week to read through the events of Holy Week as recorded in John 12-20. You might like to read a chapter each day as we walk through this week and listen to the Gungor video below as you do so. The message of Easter is that God is making all things new. Resurrection is in the air.
Take some time each day this week to sit quietly and contemplate this last week of Jesus life. Immerse yourself in his pain, but look beyond that to the resurrection. Remind yourself that the focus is not death but resurrection. What comes to mind as you think about this? What subversive steps might Jesus ask you to take in order to follow him to the Cross and beyond? Are there ways that you need to resist the wealth and power of our culture in order to follow?