It is that time of year again, where thoughts turn to time changes, warm weather, and the bloody death and resurrection of Jesus. Those three things seem incongruous, with the last standing in stark contrast to the first two. Our Christianized culture still places them together with nary a thought. That given, I’d like to take the coming week to reflect, day by day, on the last week of Jesus’s life. My intended audience is broad, Christian, non-Christian, or interested agnostic. My aim is brevity, with each post serving as an invitation to see yourself in the story, as a spectator, watching the last week of Jesus’s life unfold. If you’re not a regular attendee of Christ Covenant and this post has somehow made its way to you, then I invite you to attend worship with us and find out more about this Jesus.1
The Triumphal Entry
All four gospel writers2 record Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, an entry filled with regal pomp and circumstance, cheered on by a crowd exultant with messianic fervor. Jesus’s three years of ministry have led to this moment, a moment with all the makings of a victorious coronation. At the same time, Jesus’s words to his disciples have been increasingly dark, alluding and at times outright declaring that he is entering Jerusalem to die. Then there was his crazy talk about rising again. But for now, death and resurrection are far from the minds of the disciples as the nationalistic fervor of Israelite natives and pilgrims swells with the chanting of,
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”3
It is a joyous moment. Everything seems to be going according to plan, even better than the plan. But darkness will begin to fall as the hours tick toward 3:00 pm on Friday afternoon.
- Folks frown on public displays of worship these days. It's ok to attend a sporting event or rally, yelling and shouting as much as you'd like. But public Christian worship is typically not acceptable. Why do you think this is?
- The Pharisees were furious at this display, worried that this fervor was getting close to deifying Jesus. Are you convinced that the Bible teaches that Jesus is fully God?
- By the end of the week, the same people who chanted, “Hosanna!” will be chanting, “Crucify!” If human hearts can be that fickle and capricious, how can we know for sure we are real Christians?
- How do you need to plan now to ensure that you’ll be worshiping with us on Sunday morning at 10:30 am at Culpeper Christian School?