Jesus enters into Jerusalem, the place he warned his disciples 3 times he would have to go in order to die. Peter is against it, wanting Jesus to put behind him such thoughts. Jesus rebukes him, asking Peter to put the thoughts of man behind him. The will of God is that Jesus would pay our debts. It seems like an awful thing to ask, until you understand that he did it willingly, out of love and relationship. Besides, we’d all do anything for OUR children, wouldn’t we?
But what’s the attitude of the disciples and the crowd as Jesus enters Jerusalem? Excited, which is quite different than what they (and Peter) probably thought. It wasn’t a scene that said “I’ve come to die.” The people take off their cloaks and lay them on ground, a ritual of laying out the preverbal “red carpet” for victors and royalty. The cut the leaves off the trees over their heads, a sign that all things are brought low for the One who is above all things. But as we know, the tune changes over the course of a week. Shouts of “Hosanna, hosanna!” (Hebrew for save us now or rescue us, please) turn to chants of “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
So our task over the next week is to determine for ourselves, “Is Jesus a KING or a CRIMINAL in our hearts and lives?” Holy Week can really be seen as a small version of a larger lifetime. There’s a tense spectrum that we travel across, of loving Jesus as a king one moment and then denying him over and over, leaving him guiltily instead of us, the next moment. We have this holy week—holy meaning “set aside”—to learn not just about who Jesus is but who Jesus is to US.
So ask yourself today, “Has Jesus ridden into the city of my heart as a victorious king and if so, will I stay loyal to him, even when the world turns against him?” I hope as each day passes, you’ll keep asking that question, gaining ground and receiving faith from the One who came to give you life through his death.
May it be so, O Lord.