Some would argue there is no conceivable correlation....and they are probably right but bear with me for a moment here.
Do you know the story of Palm Sunday? Jesus enters Jerusalem on the back of a donkey (thus fulfilling the Old Testament prophesy) to the adulation of an expectant crowd who lined the streets and waved palm branches and yelled out praise and adoration... this guy was THE MAN.....come to save them.
I cannot help but wonder what Jesus was thinking and feeling.
Did He feel the Fool, knowing that within a week, all those people shouting their praise of Him would be calling for His death....did He plaster on a fake smile while inwardly grieving the pain that was to come? Did He feel sad for the crowd, for their fickleness, for how they would turn?
I can't really imagine (nor perhaps should I) how He was feeling.
But this I know.....He was no fool....He was following the very purpose for which He had come to earth and He would see it through to its painful, horrible end as was expected of Him.
And He did it for me. For us.
I could have been in the crowd that day. Indeed I am in the crowd even today. I want to do and say the right things....to faithfully follow through on His plan for my life, on the things I say I am going to do.
But I don't..... I didn't even accomplish my own plan for Lent in any meaningful way. The book I chose to read remains largely unread though I carried it around all Lent.
One could call me the Fool today and not be wrong.
I like this editorial I read to day:
Like the crowd who lined the road from Bethany to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, we're tempted to succumb to the selfish chromosome in our human DNA. We want to turn Jesus into a national mascot, a denominational totem, a personal genie. Like they did so long ago, we still project our desire upon God's will and proclaim it to be the truth. But if they were wrong, we might be too.
Put it this way: How often have you heard someone claim to know the absolute "will of the Lord" when that divine will didn't also happen to be in the best interest of the one making the proclamation? That may run true to human nature, but it runs counter to the spirit of Christ. Yet we live in an age when everyone from politicians to pundits to preachers claims holy sanction for personal agendas.
This Palm Sunday, we need to remember the crowd that lined Jesus' path. We need to remember the palm branches and allow them to remind us how little that crowd understood Jesus' mission, how wrong they were. But rather than look back in smug satisfaction, we need to pray for humility and ask God to grant us vision to superimpose God's will for our lives and this world over our own selfish desires.