April 5, 2020 Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
We should be holding palm branches today, recalling Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the holy city. It is a bittersweet remembrance because we know that no sooner had he celebrated the Passover meal with his
disciples than he was arrested, tried, convicted, and put to death. But
Jerusalem is more than the site of his crucifixion. It is also the site of
his resurrection. Through his sacrifice we all hope to one day reach the
We’ve probably heard the narrative dozens of times: Jesus enters Jerusalem to cries of “Hosanna,” but just a few days later the shouts he
hears from the crowd are “Let him be crucified!” As we listen today
to Isaiah’s prophecy, Paul’s testimony, and Matthew’s account of the
Passion, let our exclamations echo those who came to believe almost
two thousand years ago: “Truly, this was the Son of God!”
For many of us, most of the time we live a very comfortable life. We are
blessed with a wonderful family, a decent job, good health, and a nice place to live. God is smiling upon us. We aren’t even conscious of our good fortune. But then a spouse leaves, or we lose our job, or we find out we have cancer, or disaster strikes. Now where is God? Isaiah, taking on the persona of the Suffering Servant, never doubts that God is right there with him. Therefore, no matter how excruciatingly difficult it is for him he is willing to face it head-on. Despite the violence he is forced to endure, he takes refuge in the knowledge that God is stronger and will save him.
How can I rely on God during my trials and hardships? How will this help?