I think it is a fair assessment that the past few weeks, and months have been a struggle for many of us. Their has been sicknesses, deaths, unforeseen circumstances, and road blocks, that not only have put our faith to the test, but brought about uncertainty and sorrows.
In the light of this context, we prepare to greet Jesus on his triumphant entry into Jerusalem as the messiah of the Lord. And we are asked the question which Messiah are we greeting?
We like the Jews living in Jerusalem at that time, live under an occupation as slaves. Not to a foreign army of Romans as then, but rather to a world that seeks to grind any sense of decency, love and mercy out of us, by lording over us our brokeness, our frailty, and mortality.
The temptation is to want a messiah who rides in on a war horse. A messiah that will throw off the burdens of life, our pain and sorrows and ‘make things right’ as if expelling an occupying nation. As much as this kind of messiah would gratify our desires, especially those who have suffered , the reality is that those actions only touch the surface of our humanity, rather then its heart. History bears witness to this over and over again.
For sure, the Lord of Glory that enters Jerusalem comes to end our oppression, but this happens from the inside. Nations come and go, as do our sorrows and temptations, but none of that will change if we expect a messiah that uses the broken power of the world to change its course. Real change can only happen with humility and compassion, which Jesus Christ offers “on behalf of all, and for all”, not as a conquering king, but as the paschal lamb.
Sadly like many of those in Jerusalem, we are disappointed even disheartened by a messiah that preaches peace, and love and not revolution and vengeance against the wrongs of the world. And our cheers of “Hosanna Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” quickly become “crucify him”.
But for those with faith, this messianic entrance bears witness to the mercy, compassion and love of our Lord. Not only towards a world that rejects Him, but to us that have suffered under the tyranny of this age, whether it be by violence, poverty, sickness or death. Changing the nature of our suffering, by His suffering, and by bringing us with Him into His Kingdom which has no end.
“Hosanna Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,”