I’ve heard the story of Palm Sunday a number of times, but today was introduced to the irony of this story marking the beginning of Holy Week.
John 12:12 The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—
the King of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. 17 So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify.18 It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!”
How quickly the crowd (who has watched Jesus bring the dead to life) turns from shouts of Hosannah to cries of “Crucify Him!”. In just a short week’s time, we see Jesus go from the back of a donkey to carrying a cross on his own back…likely through the very same streets. And nobody, not even his own disciples understood it at first, even though they had been taught, and had seen the prophecies written about Him.
And aren’t we, his disciples, the same? Isn’t it easy to shout “Hosannah!” when we look to and believe His promises? But as soon as hard times come, we can easily be turned away to doubt and fear, questioning His goodness, and forgetting His power?