“They brought [the colt] to Jesus, threw their clothes on the colt, and lifted Jesus onto it. As Jesus rode along, they spread their clothes on the road.”
Here he comes. That carpenter’s-son-turned-rabbi. If he had only aligned himself with the Sanhedrin, he could have become a real presence in Jerusalem and Judea. Instead, he chose to associate with tax collectors and prostitutes; lepers and cripples and the sick; fishermen and zealots.
Today, we see him riding that colt who’d never been ridden before. The disciples throw their clothes on the ground and the throng rejoiced. They were looking for a new king in the line of David who would free them from Roman rule.
They missed the point.
Jesus was riding triumphantly. And we know where he was headed: to the cross. He willingly gave himself, all of himself, so that death would no longer triumph. He gave himself so that we would know that the what we consider important in this world doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
We enter this next week that is book-ended by the Triumphant Entry and Triumphant Resurrection. One high becomes one more reason for Jesus to be “dealt with.” He’d gone too far, according to the leaders who walked a fine line between honoring their Jewish faith and keeping Rome happy. Jesus needed to be taken care of before Rome stepped in and squashed everything.
And that’s when Jesus entered the dark night of the soul. In his final days, we read with sadness his courage and faithfulness. He never stumbled. Instead he prayed hard. He sweat blood. All for you and me.
His time on the cross was short; only a few hours. And even then, he spoke to us through two criminals hanging nearby. “You’ll be with me in paradise.” He entrusted his life to God and took his last breath.
I don’t want to enter Holy Week. It means that I’ll have to look on this man whom I love and ponder why? Why did it have to be this way? Why does it have to hurt so much? Why must I travel this journey with you?
I’d much prefer to go to Macy’s and get a new Easter dress.
But, Christ doesn’t call us to only the good times. Bad things happen to good people, and Jesus walks beside us every step of the way. When others leave us groping, Jesus stands with us. When we enter the dark night of our own soul, Jesus is there.
When the joy is gone, and nothing is left, we know that nothing is left. Christ still stands by us listening to the yearnings in our heart and waiting for us to give it all up to him just like he gave it all up on the cross.
The things of this world aren’t permanent. Times change and the good and the bad passes away. I understand how hard the scribes and pharisees worked to keep Judaism going when Rome wanted to insert their gods among them. I understand their hard work and desperate measures.
And that’s what reminds me that sometimes it’s time to give it all to God.
Let God handle it because, after all, he hung on a cross to prove his love.
All glory and honor be to God.