Part 1 of our Easter Freestyle Series
By Trust Director John Froud
Recently, I was asked to talk about my role models, my heroes when I was a teenager; the people I looked up to and tried to be like. It’s quite a long list, but I settled for Martin Luther King, a man who stood up for the lowest in society but without violence, Denis Law, a footballer admired and respected for his genius and Bob Dylan who writes songs that change minds.
Although I read a lot about them and kept albums full of press cuttings, I never actually met any of them and I have only seen Denis Law and Bob Dylan from the cheap seats at the back, from where, it must be said, neither of them look like giants.
When Jesus was arriving in Jerusalem everyone wanted to see him because they knew he was something special. He did amazing things with bread and fish, not to mention water; he fixed people who were in a bad way; he talked so well people forgot to go home.
Have you ever thought how much trouble the young people, particularly, of Jerusalem were risking on that Palm Sunday, as we call it today?
Asking parental permission to go to the city and stand with the crowd was not ever likely to go well. I would not recommend ignoring your parents’ wishes but I know it happens…
Arriving without something to wave may lead to a hasty decision to strip branches from trees…
The cheering was sufficiently loud for the “posh” people to tell Jesus to stop those children making so much noise (not that he took any notice, other than to quip something smart about shouting stones)…
And then there’s the coats. It’s one thing putting your coat down for royalty to walk on (Sir Walter Raleigh famously did so much later for Elizabeth I), but for a King riding a donkey? Really? Donkeys are famous for leaving things behind – from their behinds in fact. Imagine having to explain that to your mother.
“It was a donkey – but Mum, Jesus was on the donkey.”
“And where were you?” Angry Mum eyes, met with embarrassed, found-out hesitation.
“You’re a disgrace. The lady next door saw you pulling branches off the trees. I thought I told you not to go…” And so on, towards the inevitable punishments.
But were those risks worth taking to be able to get close to your hero? How much effort should we make to get a good look at Jesus?
Luke 19: 28-40
Matthew 21: 1-11
Mark 11: 1-11
John 12: 12-16