Sunday, the first day of Holy Week, is a phenomenon of victory. The masses salute Jesus, and they sing hymns in celebration of his entry to Jerusalem. Today is a day of victory. However, Jesus knew what was inside the mind of man- that the hour was near- and that the cheering crowds will turn against Him and start yelling: “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
Many people were involved in the story of pain that Jesus felt. The disciples were afraid and ran away. Judas Iscariot betrayed his teacher, Peter denied Him then repented, but John remained loyal until the very end. The head priests sentenced Jesus and handed him over to Pontius Pilate who saw that Jesus was innocent. At the same time, Pontius Pilate was afraid that the head priests would complain to higher ups. Pontius Pilate listened to the masses instead of listening to Jesus. Barnabas, the criminal, was seen as a higher priority than Jesus; more important than Simon the Cyrene and the woman believer who wiped the face of Jesus. Also, Barnabas was seen as more important than Mary, women believers who stood near the cross, and John the loyal disciple.
Two thieves were crucified with Jesus but one of them became a believer. Jesus was mocked by the crowds and the commander of the 100 soldiers who implemented the order. Yet, they all became believers when they say how things unfolded.
Where are we in the middle of this story? Who are we in the middle of the masses? Are we Judas Iscariot or Peter? Are we the people who cheered Jesus then turned against Him? Are we the ones who stood in solidarity with Mary and John the loyal disciple?
Sure, we are believers, but where do we place our faith in the greater order of things? Judas Iscariot was a believer at some point, then he forgot. Peter was a believer but then he weakened and denied Jesus before repenting about it. Mary became a believer, and so as John, but do we stand behind them? Strangers also became believers, such as the commander of the 100 soldiers along with his troops – when they saw God’s wonder- they too became believers.
What type of faith do we have?
Now is a time when we stand in front of Jesus who suffered and died on the cross for us. I look at Him, and I look at myself. Now is a time when I stand on the Golgotha and I reflect. Now is the time when I read the story as written in the Bible of Mathew. When I place myself in the time of God, I accompany Jesus in the pain her endured.
Palm Sunday is a time of childhood joy. We know that this type of joy is deep rooted in the love of Jesus. This is a time when we immerse ourselves in Jesus’ pain on our behalf and for our salvation. This is the time to rejoice like children; an innocent joy that helps us reveal God’s presence in our lives.
At the same time, we read and reflect on the story of crucifixion and pain. Palm Sunday is children’s day, as well as God’s day, but also a day to remember the pain endured by Jesus our Lord and Savior. The day is a time to read, reflect, and to realize who is the crucified Jesus.
My Lord Jesus, You suffered on my behalf and died on the cross. Help me find you; help me stay with you during this Holy Week and on the Golgotha. Lord Jesus, please take me by the hand. Amen.