Today we start the holiest week of the year, and the week moves from Sunday to Saturday. The mood of the gathered assembly will also move, from adulation and adoration to murder, mourning, and mayhem.
Before the week has ended, the palm branches of Palm Sunday will be replaced by the thorns and nails of the Friday that we call “Good.” Shouts of “Alleluia” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” will be drowned out by the mocking sneers and cries of “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” A spirit of exaltation will dissolve into the horror of execution.
Jesus would claim victory by being defeated. He would establish His reign by serving and by dying. His throne would be the cross; His Crown, a weave of thorns.
Hatred was the dominant theme. It seemed to hold all the high cards, it made all the noise. But Jesus kept on loving regardless of what they did to Him. He never lapsed into ill will, He never longed for revenge. And when the day was finished, hate lay beaten in the dust, and love hung triumphantly on the cross.
It was a strange mix at Calvary: on the one side were fear and hate and stupidity, and on the other side were faith and hope and love. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Yes. We were all there, and we are still there today. The only question is, on which side will we take a stand? Will we say by our life and the way we live, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord?” Or will we say by our life and the way we live, “Crucify Him.” And like Pilate, wash our hands of Him?