Christians all around the world celebrate this Sunday as, “Palm Sunday.” This is a celebration of the day that the crowds came from Jerusalem to meet Jesus on the road and parade him into the city as their new King. They gave shouts of “Hosanna!” which means, “Save!” while they waved palm branches in triumph and paved the road for his entry into Jerusalem. Only five days pass from the people shouting, “Hosanna!” to the crowds shifting their voices to, “Crucify him!” Why does their voice shift so quickly? Interestingly, on the BBC homepage this morning is a Psychology article that peaked my interest, “The Secret Science that Rules Crowds.” I haven’t read it yet but I have always been fascinated with “mob mentality” and how quickly people fall in line with the loudest thing being shouted.
Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19
Take some time this week to read one or all of the passages above. Read them slowly, placing yourself in the story. Stand in the position of each character and reflect on everything going on. What is there to celebrate? What is confusing? What makes you weep? What brings you joy?
I’ve found this practice incredibly helpful in my devotional time. It isn’t a time of “study” but a time of reflection and listening. What does God tell you in these moments of reflection? What speaks to me from these stories is the whirlwind of celebration taking place on the road leading into Jerusalem. The people are ecstatic! Jesus’ presence coming to Jerusalem brings all of the celebratory Psalms to the lips of the people. “Hosanna” is the cry of the people but the people have no idea what it will take to bring about true “hosanna.” In the middle of all the celebration is Jesus. He is on a donkey, not a horse. He is a picture of contrast to everything around him. In the middle of all the shouts of acclamation and praise, you have Jesus, weeping over the city (Lk 19:41-44). Hosanna!