Palm Sunday blues
"I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting." Isaiah 50.6
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, in the event we celebrate on Palm Sunday, he was not only fulfilling scripture (Zechariah 9.9), he was demonstrating the nature of that fulfilment. Jesus was taking on evil, sin and death through humility, grace and self-sacrifice. That was counter-intuitive then and it remains at odds with instinctive human behaviour today. Anyone opposing aggression with gentleness is accused of naivety at best - or cowardice and weakness.
In his wisdom, Jesus understood that the only way to break the cycle of violence is to adopt the opposite, in attitude and behaviour. It cost him his life but it set us free from that futile spiral and opened the way for hope and a future. Jesus' own integrity meant that death could not hold him and so he scores the ultimate victory through resurrection to eternal life. And so can we, not in our own strength and virtue, but in Jesus'. Trusting him as Saviour and submitting to him as Lord avails us of everything that he achieved for our sakes.
Now travel through the events of Holy Week, with eyes open to the amazing grace of God and let the wonder of his love fill your heart with joy. Refuse to give in to the lies of the Devil and allow your gratitude to God to transform your demeanour, so that people become curious about the source of your hope. Get ready to share your testimony, so that others may partake of your wonder, joy, gratitude and hope - and meet the source of it all, in the person of Jesus.