The beginning of an unimaginable week!
This weekend is Palm Sunday in our Church Year. This is the day and celebration which kicks off the Holy week activities and services. As Jesus, road into Jerusalem amidst cheers and jubilation, on that first Palm Sunday, who would have ever believed how the week would play out and eventually end? Jesus, the Son of God, Messiah, and King was certainly worthy of all the honor and adoration He received as He entered the Holy City atop the beast of burden that was secured for Him. A large number in the crowd saw Him as their rescuer, the one who would save them and bring them out from under the oppressive hand of the Roman Empire. Joy was overflowing from within their hearts because there was a new King in town!
Sad to say, it only took a few short days for many of these revelers to realize that this Jesus, they were placing their hope and faith in, was not exactly the hero they were looking for. As the week unfolded the mighty warrior, they had been waiting for, seemed to be no more than another slave under the power of Roman rule. Their disappointment and discouragement caused a drastic change in their attitude and allegiance towards the King of kings! The joy in Jesus they were basking in earlier that week had turned to disdain, disgust, and betrayal.
Rather than paying homage to the Lord of Life, as would definitely be appropriate, they mocked Him, beat Him, and impaled a crown of thorns on His head. And, if all such heinous treatment would not have been enough, they finished off their hate-filled brutality by putting Him to death on a cross. Jesus journey that Holy Week took Him from a place of enjoying a hero’s welcome to being subjected to a display of barbaric animosity.
Where would you and I have been during that fateful journey of Jesus? Would we have been among the revelers on that first Palm Sunday, who placed their full trust in Jesus as the Messiah, the one who came to save us? Or might we have been standing with the Romans and Jewish leaders, who saw the Christ as a disturbance and threat? And, even more important, where would we have been when they beat, mocked, and crucified God’s Son and our Savior? With Him, or against Him!
Today, dear brothers and sisters in the faith, Jesus is being mocked and beaten up every day in the public squares of our society. Are we going to stand up, cheer for, and acknowledge the kingship of our Lord Jesus? Or are you, or I, going to join in with the crowd, who are attacking Him, hoping to avert being attacked ourselves? Jesus said, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge you before my Father who is in heaven, but if you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven”. May God give you and me the strength to be faithful and fearful followers of the Master, as we proclaim Him (Jesus) King of kings! Pastor McCarty