A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven! (Matthew 21:8-9)
The arrival of Jesus was a sign of hope for the people of his time. They longed for him to come into the city and bring them the freedom they so desperately longed for. Of course, what he offered and what they expected didn’t match up. In the end, their disappointment contributed to Jesus’ death on the cross.
The arrival of Jesus is a sign of hope for us in our time as well. However, often we struggle to be open to seeing the life Christ brings us. Our issues seem somehow too unique and disconnected from the biblical story to receive life and hope from the arrival of Christ. Often, we wallow in our problems rather than open our selves us to the grace and renewal that Jesus brings.
It is easy to wonder why the people who were so excited about Jesus eventually turned on him and rejected the life he brought. But if we are honest, all too often we do the same today, each of us in our own ways.
Each year we go through the process of Lent, concluding with Holy Week and leading up to Easter. It is a reminder that God’s grace is coming to us again and again and again. Where we struggle and fall short, God persists in bringing us new life over and over. This Holy Week, reflect on where you need life and where Christ has come to meet you. It may be that this year Palm Sunday calls you to new life in a new way. And maybe this time each of us will be more ready to receive it.