Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday 2012

At church this morning, we celebrated Palm Sunday.  Here are two thoughts:

1.  In the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, the crowds say "Hosanna in the highest" (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:10).  Hosanna is an imperative that means "save".  That being the case, "Hosanna in the highest" does not make much sense to me.  "Save in the highest"?  Perhaps the word became an expression of praise whose original meaning was obsolete. 

2.  The pastor was talking about how the crowds were celebrating Jesus when he was entering into Jerusalem, then they turned on Jesus by preferring for Pilate to release Barabbas and to crucify Jesus.  The pastor said that there are people who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, and they base their responses to Jesus on where the winds happen to blow----how things are going in their lives. 

I wondered if we could have expected the crowds to have had a personal relationship with Jesus.  It wasn't as if Jesus at that time was omnipresent and omniscient, with the ability to have a deep personal relationship with a lot of people in the human race; rather, Jesus was a human being who could only be in one place at a time, and he was intimate with only a few people.  Perhaps the crowds could have looked at Jesus' track record as one who loved and healed people, and that should have encouraged them to support Jesus even when Jesus was about to be put to death (assuming that the Gospels' stories on this are even historical).

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