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Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, where the long, somewhat meandering days of Lent move sharply towards their climax. We have been journeying with Jesus through the desert and appear at the edge of our awaited destination, Jerusalem the Holy City. And as Jesus is met with much popular fanfare, those of us on this side of the resurrection cannot help but detect the irony of the moment.
“Palm Sunday” by poet Marie J. Post, captures the tension between Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday and his shameful march on Good Friday with a haunting beauty.
Astride the colt and claimed as King
that Sunday morning in the spring,
he passed a thorn bush flowering red
that one would plait to crown his head.
He passed a vineyard where the wine
was grown for men of royal line
and where the dregs were also brewed
into a gall for Calvary’s rood.
A purple robe was cast his way,
then caught and kept until that day
when, with its use, a trial would be
profaned into a mockery.
His entourage was forced to wait
to let a timber through the gate,
a shaft that all there might have known
would be an altar and a throne.
On Palm Sunday, we also read the whole Passion narrative and are reminded that it is our sin that drives Jesus to the cross. Yet Jesus, fully knowing where this week would lead him, still suffered so that he might claim his throne. His coming death is in fact a triumph.
The King is coming to claim victory over our greatest foes, sin and death. But the journey has just begun; let us follow in the footsteps of our King Jesus this Holy Week.
The Rev. Taylor IshiiDirector of Student Ministry
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