Palm Sunday, the day we commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, is the opening act of the Passion narrative that is at the center of our worship for the next week. Each Gospel has a version of the last days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The events are mostly the same but the accents made by the writers are different. To have four different, though likely related, accounts of the same event is unique. There’s no other event of that era that we know so much about, or which has been corroborated as extensively.
But the events that took place that week in Jerusalem echo events that took place again and again in the many centuries that preceded them. And what they describe has happened in one way or another in the thousands of years since. This is not the first community that has attempted to quell division by finding a scapegoat, an innocent victim to sacrifice. It may be the only time that the victim forgave the oppressor and simultaneously healed the guilty ones though.
The Passion describes something commonplace and unique in history. It’s something that has changed the course of history. It’s still changing us. It exposes a truth we would kill rather than recognize. And that truth saved us from ourselves and still does.
The direct link to the sermon is found here.
(The image above was generated by using Bing’s AI creation tool.)