When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” – Matthew 21:10-11 (NIV)
Everyone loves a parade. Whether it is a small town procession of tractors and high school bands or a stream of giant balloons, flower-covered floats and international celebrities, we all hope for a front row seat on the curb with an unobstructed view. We honor our heroes, celebrate our culture, commemorate our history or simply gather together for a moment in time to share a common human experience.
Passover in Jerusalem was the Jews’ biggest community event and at least two parades passed through its gates the year that changed the world. Pontius Pilot had come to town with his entourage of magnificent animals, extravagant carriages, and marching soldiers with shining shields, no doubt to the awe and wonder of a crowd. Another man also rode into the city, but with only one small donkey, a few rough disciples and some women that followed Him, yet He was still greeted with all the honor and excitement of a rock star of the day.
It would be a parade of a different kind on Friday when this same celebrity would drag a heavy wooden cross through the streets and beyond the city wall, along with two thieves, as the cheers became jeers and “hosanna” turned to “crucify Him!” They had a front row seat to see the King of kings, but their view was obstructed by old assumptions, misguided beliefs and hardened hearts. Another parade is coming, when the King returns to lead His people home – don’t miss it!