Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter.
In the Christian narrative, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a colt and is given great honor on Palm Sunday. The people on the street cut palm fronds from the palm trees and lay them on the street so the horse's feet are not dirtied.
By day, he preaches in the city and by night he retreats into the countryside.
On the eve of Passover, he dines with his closest students in the city of Jerusalem and is arrested by those in power.
His is tried in a hurried and irregular trial. His closest allies deny him. He is executed on Friday with revolutionaries.
A few take-home messages:
- Fame is fleeting and honor is ephemeral
- Power attracts/creates evil people when people think power is their's to possess
- Even the best of men are flawed and fail (Peter)
- Mammon is not a basis for loyalty and can be the catalyst for betrayal (Judas Iscariot)
- Help comes from unexpected sources (Simon the Cyrenian and Joseph of Arimathea)
- Honor can be found among thieves and revolutionaries, but not in every one of them.
- There are things worse than death.
- Death eventually finds us all.
- To live and die without honor and purpose is worse than death.
- Great Stories can happen in the back-end of nowhere. In modern terms, Palestine was fly-over country filled with dirt-people.
- The story of Palm Sunday and Christ's passion is not complete until Easter. The story swings from giddy joy to crushing despair and fear and then back to joy.
As a Christian, I am challenged to read this story and discern how it applies to my life, to my "now". As we live out echoes of this story, which role am I playing? Which role SHOULD I be playing? How can I best live my life with honor and purpose?