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Preview – Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday . . . . . . . Christians all over the world will begin the week of Easter by remembering how it started when Jesus entered Jerusalem at the head of a parade that proclaimed him as The One.  In America it’s the Sunday you try to figure out if you can still look cool while waving a palm branch that was handed to you when you entered.    Most of us men are underachievers in palm-waving.  We hold it, sure enough, but we won’t raise it very high.  We do much better at hockey games with those inflatable things that you hit together.  We’ve just never been that good at cheering Jesus. 

The story can be found in any of the Gospels, e.g. Matthew 21:1-11.  It’s very interesting on many levels.  It’s quite a scene, for one thing, like the end of some kind of successful campaign.  (The way Democrats felt this week over Health Care Reform.  I wonder what Peter whispered to Jesus.)   What makes it very interesting is that Jesus sets it up.  It doesn’t catch him by surprise, it’s as if he arranges it.  Usually, he tries to down-play who he is, often telling people he healed not to tell anyone.  But, this time, he arranges his entrance to fit exactly what was expected of the Messiah.

Why does he do this?  Why does he allow the crowd to get all hyped up when he knows that the outcome of that week is going to be a disaster? 

We’re going to talk about that this Sunday.

Have you ever had your hopes built up about something, and then you got smashed?  Some people learn to never hope because of stuff like that.  (And, I mean something more important than your team going to the Final Four.) 

Why does God allow us to get excited about something that doesn’t work out like we hoped?  Where is God at those time?

Why did Jesus plan and accept their hope and expectation?