Why Palm Sunday? Why do Christians do this crazy Holy Week thing, where we parade Jesus one week fully knowing he will be betrayed and die.
Dr Who’s (possibly best) episode in the reboot is a visit to Vincent Van Gogh who struggles with depression. He and his companion Amelia visit, and spend time with this amazing man who could see beauty amidst the the terror. They return to the present and Amy is convinced he would have lived longer, not died by suicide, and made more paintings. Seemlingly, nothing changed. And yet, it counted, Dr. Who says that the way he sees it (and he has had to struggle with his own darkness and good days). Life is a pile of good things and a pile of bad things. The good things don’t fix the bad things, but the bad things don’t ruin the good things either.And Dr Who says “We definitely added to his pile of good things”
This is not just about Jesus’ resurrection, its about the full scope of humanity.
If you map Jesus’ journey he avoided Jerusalem–ping-ponging around Israel. Because he knew his very Being in Jerusalem would cause revolution, because Jesus’ very existence is revolutionary.
Ever have the feeling where you just click with someone and you know you are going to be friends? That’s how EVERYBODY felt with Jesus, so when he enters the center of power, the power starts to shift. Because who doesn’t want the person who SEEs you, GETs who you are and what your about, and LOVEs you.
Here’s the deal tho….Jesus knows he’s going to die. But whereas I might be cynical or really sad to enter Jerusalem knowing I was going to die, my guess is Jesus accepted it as what it was.
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Jesus knows he is going to die, and appreciated it. Because at this moment, at the Hosanna time of the palms, people were good.
It was a good thing, and Jesus added it to the pile of good things. Human life is about the good and bad things. This is why we pray about the joys and concerns in our lives. Someone’s joy doesn’t fix someone else’s hurts…but it adds to the good things.
I believe that God is in every good thing. I believe that following God is to valiantly look for and add to the good things. Its knowing that especially in the midst of hurt and suffering and oppression, the good things matter. They matter so much, one kind word, one achievement, one moment of child’s laughter–can help you make it through the day.
That’s why Palm Sunday–because to be fully human is to embrace the good, to feel and know suffering. I’m sure Jesus had to deal with anxiety and stress, I’m sure he had relationships that didn’t work out the way he wanted them to…I’m sure he saw people hurt and die who he cared about.
Why Palm Sunday?
Because Jesus knows that suffering is a part of life, but so is joy, beauty and hope.
Because Jesus embraces the fact that God is within every-single-day, whether it is good or not (note the verse isn’t this is the good day that the Lord has made). This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.