Happy Palm Sunday
Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, riding on a donkey.
Pilate has also arrived, riding on a war horse.
Two leaders. Two different ways of leading.
Two animals. Two different images.
When writing about this event, Matthew reflects on Zechariah 9:9:
“Say to Daughter Zion (Jerusalem),
‘See, your king comes to you,
Gentle and riding on a donkey,
Even upon a colt, a foal of a beast of burden.
“Riding on a donkey, even a foal of a beast of burden”? (No, the Rolling Stones are not the originators of the phrase.)
What kind of King is this?
Where’s the display of power?
Where’s the “Hey, I’m a big deal!” attitude?
It’s not there. We won’t “see” that in Jesus. In Jesus, we “see” a different way to live and to lead. Jesus is reframing power. Oh, yes, Jesus has power. “All power (authority) has been given to me (Matthew 28:18),” Jesus tells his disciples.
But this Jesus kind of power is “seen” not in the person who is served but in the person who is serving (Matthew 20:25-28).
Wanna see power today? Look at the 1000s of medical personnel serving us, “giving their lives as a sacrifice” in this war against COVID-19.
That is power on display.
On this Palm Sunday, the beginning of Passion Week, we thank them for their passionate and sacrificial service.