Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cheers and Jeers

The Triumphal Entry
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."

4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "[a]

6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
"Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"[c]
"Hosanna[d] in the highest!"

10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"

11The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

Palm Sunday is a day that the children of our church look forward to, as they are part of the processional. Waving their palm branches and singing. It's such a delight to see the smiles on their faces! We are reminded that Jesus was cheered as he rode into Jerusalem - but by Friday the crowds were screaming "crucify him!"

It's tourney time for us basketball fans! This past Friday night our favorite team The Indiana Hoosiers were playing in a Big 10 Championship game against Minnesota. We had some friends over, we were in a celebratory mood, the chips, wings and other snacks were placed on the table! The game started and we were cheering our team on to victory. Unfortunately, the game did not end up the way we had wanted or expected. A last second shot (and I do mean a last second shot) went up and went in. The final score Minnesota: 59, Indiana: 58.

It was interesting listening to some of our friends - one minute cheering IU, the next saying "they are terrible". Cheering one minute, the next jeering! Isn't it just like the Passion week... cheering Jesus and then jeering. How can we go from one extreme to another so quickly? When the outcome isn't what we expected? The team didn't perform the way WE wanted. Jesus wasn't the king they expected?

I couldn't help but notice the similarities of human behavior between the events of the last week of Jesus' life and the reaction to the game this past Friday. Cheers then Jeers. It's heartbreaking. A team we should love was being jeered. Our God, who came to save us was spat upon, beaten and hung on a cross.

As I reflect on Jesus' journey to the cross - I realize that I am the one who should be jeered. I am the one who lets God down daily. I am not a champion. I am not worthy of the blood that was shed. But God, in His great love, felt that I, as well as all of us were worth it! He sacrificed His son to be our Champion! Our Savior, Our King.

Father God, I thank You for sending your son - for His sacrifice, suffering and pain on the cross in order for us to have eternal life with you. There is no greater gift or reward I could ever receive than that! You are my Champion - you are my Savior! Amen

1 comment:

elaine olsen said...

Cheers and Jeers. Before I wax too poetically, I need to tell you Kristen, that my 2 sons will be attendance at the first round of the NCAA tournament in Raleigh this weekend to see the games, including the game of your beloved Hoosiers. Awww...the fruits of slinging burgers and dropping fries for two years! They have more money than I do!

My dad grew up in Indiana and loves...I mean LOVES Bobby Knight. (go figure?) He's also a huge fan and will be watching the games via his lazy boy this weekend. My boys will be jeering the Hoosiers while cheering for the Tar Heels. Anyway...I'm so happy for them, so be watching for them in the crowd. They have good seats!!!

Today, I have been thinking about my own response to Christ's walk to Calvary. I'm quick to cheer him when I sense his presence. I'm quick to jeer at my circumstances when he seems distant.

I want to be broken for him...to do more for him...to follow him all the way to the cross, but there are days when I run to the safety of my hiddenness in hopes that no one notices. Today has been one of those days.

God...help me to understand your sacrifice more clearly and live it more carefully.

Peace, my friend, as we journey to Easter as his!

~elaine