Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 11:9-10 NRSV)
Jesus is surrounded – some went ahead, some followed behind.
Jesus is hailed as the one bringing / restoring David’s kingdom.
In the King James Version, Psalm 118:25 (quoted by the crowds here) says “Save now..”
Palm Sunday this year had me thinking of the word “followed” in this story. Some followed Jesus into the city, shouting his praises and crying out for him to save them – to save Israel.
How far would they follow him? The crowds followed him to hear his teaching, to witness and sometimes receive his miracles. They followed his career and ministry. They clearly understood, even in their misunderstanding, his coming as Messiah.
But they do not follow him to the cross. They follow him to the moment of his trial. But no farther.
Sometimes I am such a follower am I not? I follow Jesus when he leads me to happy places, to blessings of all kinds. I follow when I want to follow and when it is easy or at least beneficial.
But to the cross? To the death – of self, of self-interest, of ambition, of sin? Seldom. They missed the wonder of the resurrection, even those who went ahead, because they stopped short of the cross.
Son of David, Hosanna! Save me from myself, from my stopping short of the cross. Save me from my own tendency to quit before I reach the death of all that needs dying. Lead me all of the way this Holy Week that I may experience the fullness and power of your resurrection. Amen.