Palm Sunday :: Who is this?

Matthew 21.1-11

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“Palm" Sunday

Remember the old Lone Ranger shows on TV? Some nefarious cowboy would wreak havoc on an unsuspecting town and The Lone Ranger would ride in to save the day, “Hi-Ho-Silver-ing” all the way. He’d wrassle the varmit, rescue the damsel, and save the town for yet another day. Invariably after these heroics, some townsperson would ask, “Who was that masked man?” And, just as invariably, shoulders would shrug, the people not really knowing who he was. Zip-Zap, he came and went, doing his daring deeds of good. He didn’t even stick around long enough for people to thank him.

At times it seems these are the kind of heroics we expect of Jesus. He’ll come swooping into our lives at the utmost point of need, right whatever wrong he finds, and then swoop right back out. We’d cheer him, of course. Maybe we’d even line the streets, shout a few “Hosannas,” and wave our flags. Jesus, the avenging Son of God! Save us!

Of course, this is precisely what people expected of Jesus that day in Jerusalem. They were looking for a king, someone who would right the wrong of oppressive Roman occupation, someone who would inaugurate a new age of God-rule. Of course, this is not what people got. They got a Temple-disrupting rabble rouser who came into town, not on a brilliant white stallion, but on a humble donkey. Their shouts of “Hosanna, Lord!” soon turned into “Crucify him!”

How quickly our heroes betray us. Thank goodness for The Lone Ranger! He’d never let us down. After all, he had a white stallion and a six-shooter.

Jesus had only… what? Love?

Link to RCL Lectionary for Palm Sunday, Year A

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