Yesterday Jesus celebrated the last Sabbath on this earth in his human body. (He would celebrate more after His resurrection, but He wasn't the same then. I don't know if his humanity was still a part of that risen body.) I wonder what He was thinking. I wonder how He felt. This whole 100% God/100% man thing makes it hard to imagine. He knew the purpose, the plan and the outcome. He had the eternal perspective that every other human lacks. Yet, surely His humanity felt some sorrow. Surely He relived some of the good times He'd had with His family, friends and followers. I imagine He felt sad about the pain He knew they would all soon be experiencing. Yet, we know that whatever thoughts and feelings He had, they were without sin. No pity parties. No moping or worrying.
Today, surrounded by praise and adoration, He entered His favorite city. "Save Now! Save Now!" "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna! Hosanna!" Palm branches were waved and thrown on the ground beneath the feet of the young donkey he rode.
"Shut them up!" The arrogant, fearful pharisees said. This behavior could be dangerous under Caesar's watch. Not to mention the symbolism of the palm branches. Palms are found throughout scripture in reference to God's dwelling place and to man dwelling with God. I had also heard that they were considered a political banner - much like a flag - associated with the Maccabees - serious rebels in Israel's history.
"These thing must be said. If these people do not praise me, the very rocks will cry out." I feel like that's saying, "It is what it is." Great statement from "I Am That I Am".
While still outside the gate, Jesus paused to look out over the city of God's heart. "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if only I could gather you as a hen gathers her chicks." Jesus wept. This was not a pretty cry. The greek word is that for a sobbing, big ol' snotty cry. He wept. He knew that within the lifetime of some of these people Jerusalem was going to be left without one stone upon another. Sacked. Destroyed and her people carried off into slavery throughout the world. The implication is there that if only they had believed and accepted Him for who He really is, they would be spared that fate. But they did not. They rejected Him, the Corner Stone, without which no structure can stand.
What a day it must have been. A real roller coaster of emotion.
Last year we were attending an Anglican church. They celebrated Palm Sunday in tangible way. It was the focus of the entire service, not just an honorable mention. They had a service on Thursday to commemorate the Last Supper and Jesus washing his disciples' feet. They had a service on Good Friday to remember His death. I heard, (or read) somewhere that celebrating Easter without observing the other events of the week was like walking into the happy ending of a movie without seeing the rest. You can't experience the excitement and joy if you haven't seen the struggle that took place to get there.
Let's keep our minds on Him this week, maybe a little more than usual. Let's try to walk with Him where He walked during these final days. Let's "go there" with Him so that the joy and celebration of the Resurrection will be that much more meaningful.