Hosanna! As Jesus rides triumphantly into Jerusalem, the air is full of excitement. People wave palm branches and shout louder than the “Cameron Crazies” at a Duke basketball game. The multitude recalls all that has happened in Galilee, Cana, Capernaum, and the places in between. Now here comes the promised Messiah who has lived up to the hype! He looks like most of them—poor, humble, and weak. Nothing stops them from praising this King, though the powerful try their best to do so.
The Pharisees ask Jesus to silence the crowd’s joyful ruckus, but he knows this is not a time to be silent. Salvation and justice are at stake! The disciples cheer, shouting their hope that the Messiah is coming to free them from Roman oppression. This is both a party and a peaceful protest. The Pharisees’ opposition is quickly dismissed. Jesus embraces the multitude and will not muzzle their voices. Mortals and minerals shout, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (v. 38).
Have you ever been in a position of power or privilege that prevented you from speaking out against injustice? (Come on in, Queen Esther!) Perhaps you too have felt the need to silence voices that agitate you, or hide from their joyful ruckus.
The stones that the builders rejected—the poor, marginalized, and outcast—will not keep silent. For these stones represent the Kingdom of God that Jesus comes to establish. In Jesus, himself the cornerstone that the builders reject, love and acceptance lead to joyful celebration and good trouble.
If you had been present at the Triumphal Entry, what would you be doing in the story?
God, help me keep my eyes on you, so that your perfect love will cast out my fear and fill me with praise for you. Amen.