Today we celebrate Palm Sunday which commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem just before his most cruel and agonizing torture and death of the cross. On Palm Sunday the people gave him a rousing welcome like a king, waving palms and shouting “Hosanna”, but just a few days later those very people who exalted him turned against him and turned him over to the Romans to be killed in the cruelest way one can imagine – crucifixion.
Why did those people suddenly change, from loving to hate Jesus? Why did Jesus allow himself to be treated like a king knowing well the same people will turn against him and demand for his death?
When I was young Palm Sunday was an enjoyable event, waking up early and rushing to get hold of the best palms, wave them and go I in procession. I was just like the crowd who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem 2000 years ago.
But today many years later, after going through the arduous journey in life, that historic journey of Jesus into Jerusalem means much more than waving palms and singing “Hossana”. It is a solemn reminder that life is full of thorns not roses and we must be prepared to stand up against all the injustices and pains in life.
Jesus knew he will be persecuted and killed but yet he went through that journey willingly with great courage. Do we have that courage to face up to all the injustices, pains and persecutions in our life to uphold truth? In being righteous, our own children may go against us,siblings and closest friends may leave us but will we crumble under such pressure?
Yes, the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is a symbol of courage to even facing a cruel and most unjust death. To each one us too who claim to follow him, it is all about courage to do the right even in the most unjust and painful situation. It is about courage to stand up for our principles against all forms of insult especially if it comes from the ones you loved and trusted most.
In our family, our places of work, our church and our country, we face injustice. We witness the good and righteous being ‘persecuted’ but the bad facilitated and enjoying the company of those in power. The temptations of greed, power,wealth and lust are real to which many succumb.
Do we have the courage to say ‘No’ to these evil and continue to remain steadfast to our principles of truth and righteousness? If not we would be been just like the crowd that welcomed Jesus only to abandon him when he needed them most.
Have a blessed Holy Week