It was a good day in NC. Sunny – warm – breezy. A day for working in the gardens with the husband, reading, sitting in the hot tub, playing with the dogs, talking to my big brother and my kids…just a day to shout “Hosanna”. And so it is as this lenten journey is coming to a close, and Rabbe Jesus was a Sabbath’s day journey from Jerusalem:
“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly…’” Mk 11: 1-3
He knew the scriptures that He was born to fulfill. He knew the ones that would be written after He returned to the Father. He was the WORD. (Zechariah 9:9 would be fulfilled today) Every step in His whole life had been leading to this week. He knew the these very questions would be the cement that held this story together.
“They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go…” Mk 11:4-7
His friends still did not understand. They smiled. They joked. They laughed. They spread their coats upon the ass for the King to take His triumphal ride. Did Rabbe Jesus relax and enjoy this day? We always see pictures of Him smiling riding through the streets of His beloved city. Or did He merely camouflage the fear and sadness that rattled about His fully human brain and heart?
“When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted…” Mk 11:8
People came from their homes and the fields (that were a Sabbath’s journey) from Jerusalem. They laid their cloaks upon the road so that their King would be shielded from dirt of the road. They brought palm branches from fields and nearby trees symbolizing Our Father’s bounty, love and unity. They shouted out their love
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Mk 11:9-10
Late in the day, He arrived at the temple. Did His head hurt? I know mine does after a full day spent among crowds – jostling – touching – beseeching… Were the Scriptures tumbling through His head as He looked at His Father’s temple? Was Caiaphas there to greet Him? And the disciples? What were they doing when they got there? Was His family there? His mother? Out of all those that lived upon earth, did she understand all the parables that He had been telling them?? Somehow – I think she did.
“Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.” Mk 11:11
If time is not a linear line at all, like some people suggest, then someday I would like to observe this day in what we consider the past. By all accounts,it was a beautiful day just like it was a beautiful day here. Soon, the Rabbe would become Yeshua barabbas —– Barabbas —- Barabbas —- hmmm – which could bring up a whole ‘nother discussion.