Readings: Palm Sunday: Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29, Matthew 21: 1-11
Passion Sunday: Isaiah 50: 4-9a, Psalm 31: 9-16, Philippians 2: 5-11, Matthew 26:14 – 27:66
There is nothing sweeter than seeing the face of an innocent child coming down the passage with a broad smile and dirty hands. That is if they have been playing outside in good clean mud; where a good bar of soap and an occasional de-worming tablet will help. There is also nothing as frightening for the parent who has witnessed this scene a number of times over only to find that the source and consequence of the dirty hands is to be found on the wall or the bedspreads or the floor, especially when it looks like it is paint or something else that doesn’t dry well or God forbid; something that the child shouldn’t have in their hands in the first place. There are those who were a little OCD about washing hands before the Corona virus became a household name throughout the world and for those who also double up as parents; this could be a moment of fear and anxiety. Behind this moment of joy could lie hours of cleaning up house.
Sometimes, we see one thing, but are never sure what this thing is what we are looking at. Sometimes what is before us is not really what is before us. Sometimes our perception of reality is only real to us. Jesus comes riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on a colt, as a king would who is entering into a city in peace, not as a king would who is coming in war on a stallion. Jesus wasn’t coming in peace though; He was coming in war. He wasn’t coming to fight the Romans or the Jews; He was coming to start a fight with another common enemy the world has faced since the fall of humanity. Jesus starts a fight which He does win and it is with an enemy that the world had accepted as a part of reality, something they could never do anything about. According to the evidence of humanity throughout the ages, we can plainly see that they would never have been able to do anything about this enemy – they couldn’t fight against death, they couldn’t fight against sin, they couldn’t fight against the inevitable separation from God that their imperfection brought about.
Jesus comes to destroy every wall that humanity had built between themselves and God. Jesus came to remove everything that we created to defend ourselves against a Holy God because we didn’t actually need to defend ourselves, even though our fear said we did. Christ came in battle and His battle was with the only real enemy the world has ever known.
The Corona virus will also pass, as all of the other global viruses did. It may even take a huge portion of humanity before it does pass, but the death it brings has already been defeated. We may not be afraid of death, but it doesn’t mean we need to be foolish or flippant about life either. Christ came to defeat death so that we would know life and life in abundance. We are already living our eternal life even now. Live it as someone who has received the gift of life that Christ entered Jerusalem on a colt to bring you. Live as someone who has respect for life and values the lives of others and in this season of world history that would include washing hands and maintaining social distance.