March 24, 2021
by: Gabriel Tseng
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” – John 12:12-19

Rounding third and heading for home during this season (a baseball reference) we have this scene of the laying of palms in joyous celebration of an incoming king. There is a dual meaning in this king on a donkey in that he subverted all our expectations even until the end. You could even say that some may have been disappointed at the upcoming week  before Easter as Jesus awaited torment and execution. He came on a donkey, yet subverts this story in a twist to then die on the cross. A king dying for us? There is a tense, even a quiet lull this upcoming week after the celebratory entrance. What excitement, only to be followed by a quiet moment before a more negative raucous. 

A detail not to be missed is “His disciples did not understand these things at first.” 

Only in their recollecting and in our blessed moment are we privileged to look back on these times. As we look at at scripture, we aren’t to thumb our nose at these characters, but to identify with them at this moment. Too often I am also quite sure of what I am to do or act with all certainty. With enough mistakes, I’ve learned to say, “If God wills it….” 

I wonder what more I will look back on, and find those who I’ve wronged, to apologize to, with much to apologize for. I wonder how regret deepens my cup and softens my heart towards myself and to others. I wonder also, if my heart would become more calloused or hardened in moments where my insecurity surfaces in ugly ways, to depend more on myself rather than to run to the Lord. I know, and trust that though the disciples did not understand many things at first, God brought them to light at the right time, when they had ears to hear and eyes to see. I am unable to see for myself or will myself to that point, but in humility come before the Lord, and ask Him to search my heart if there be any wayward way in me. I trust that He knows me more than I even know myself and many times, loves me more than I even love myself. 

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