It's Palm Sunday, and this is that time of year when we return to the scene of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem for Passover. In the Gospel of Matthew and Mark, he heals a blind man en route to Jerusalem. In Luke, he calls Zaccheus down from the tree while on his way. In John, he raises Lazarus from the dead which causes a whole crowd to follow Jesus into Jerusalem for passover. Jesus entry into Jersualem, in each of the scriptures, shows us that he picked up a lot of amazed followers en route.
This mulititude of followers, who had seen miracles beyond anything they could ever imagine are walking with him, descending from the Mount of Olives, and shouting in joy.
They were proclaiming "Hosanna!" which is a first century way of saying "Can I get a Whoop Whoop?!"
Hosanna is like an invitiational "Hooray! Join in with me!"
Evidently, not everyone appreciated the fervor. Not everyone wanted to give a whoop whoop.
In Luke 19:39, we read that some of the Pharisees were travelling along also and they didn't like the cheering. (As an aside, I always am amazed at the negative folk in scripture and in real life who bring their crappy attitude around joyous believers, aren't you? TImes truly haven't changed.)
The Pharissees are so annoyed that they advise Jesus to "rebuke your disciples." And Jesus says, "If they are silent, the very stones would cry out."
What does that mean? It means the whole earth is full of joy over what is about to occur in this Holy Week journey to Easter. It means the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ is not dependent upon our recognition and proclaimation of his glory. If we don't see it or say it, then the very stones of the earth will.
It's a relief to me.
It is a relief that the awesome love that is moves forward into the darkeness of Holy Week is not dependant on my perfect articulation. I can give a whoop whoop. I can be silently unsure. Or worse I can be snarling in disbelief or disgust. No matter. Jesus love remains steadfast. His love is proclaimed throughout creation.
I'm thankful that the rocks will cry out.
In the Holy Week ahead, I see myself in the multitudes saying things and doing things that show my weakness, my limited strength, my sin. Thank God that Jesus doesn't need me (or any humans) to enter Jerusalem, carry the cross of suffering, die and enter the dark grave. Thank God Jesus love is not reliant upon our words, actions, participation or acceptance.
Thank God he has the rocks.
God is going to love us through this Holy Week whether we like it or not.
I say, let's give a solid "Whoop Whoop" on Palm Sunday. But don't beat ourselves up when our joy turns to sorrow. Jesus knew the crowd would be yelling things far worse in the days ahead. He knew that the multitude would call out "Crucify him!" and he didn't rebuke those voices either.
He has the rocks. He IS the rock.
No matter what, His Love and Grace will enter the darkness of death and transform it into new life.
Can I get a Whoop Whoop?