Palm Sunday – 6th Sunday of Lent
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
The students at River City High School had waited a long time to be a winner in football, and it looked like it finally might happen. Rumor had it that Ben Montana, the best quarterback in the region, was transferring to their school. And everyone knew that if he was throwing the passes for their team, the Mud Dogs were destined for greatness.
Sure enough, the day came when Ben showed up for the first day of school at River City, and the hallways were lined with students cheering and chanting, “Ben! Ben! Ben! Ben!” He had a hero’s welcome that day, and things couldn’t have looked better.
The problem was that Ben had transferred to River City mainly because of its stellar math program, and his goal in life was to become an engineer. The football coaches wanted him to spend all of his spare time at practice and in the weight room, but he was very open about needing time to study. It wasn’t long before some of the other football players started saying bad things about Ben. Students started accusing him of being a traitor to the Mud Dogs and that he’d just come to River City to make sure they didn’t win their district.
The last straw came when someone accused Ben of trying to sell drugs at school. There wasn’t any proof, but some of the other players got together with the student body and went to the principal with false accusations. Without a formal hearing or any due process, Ben was expelled from River City High School and referred to the local authorities. Sadly, had the Mud Dogs let Ben both study and play football, they would have had the best season in school history. Instead, Ben was headed to jail and they had yet another winless year.
By now, you probably get the parallels here. The people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus as their coming king, and they basically threw him a parade. He was lauded and cheered by people who waved palm branches and lined his path with their outer garments. The welcome committee was an indication that these folks knew exactly who Jesus was – the Son of God and Israel’s long-awaited Messiah.
But within a week, the ruling elite in Jerusalem had convinced many that Jesus was a danger to the people of Israel and that it was in their best interest to have Him executed. What started out as a glorious entry ended in tears and brutality.
As we start Holy Week, make sure you keep that triumphant Jesus in mind each day. Remember to keep Him close in your heart and mind as we approach the commemoration of His death, as well as the celebration of His resurrection.
Reflection copyright © 2017 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.