Millions across the globe have been celebrating Holy Week in recent days, one of the most sacred weeks of the year for the Christian faith. The notable week began by remembering the communal palms and pomp acknowledging Jesus’ triumphal arrival in Jerusalem some 2,000 plus years ago; it ends with the celebration of his resurrection.
I find the week in between fascinating, where between those two momentous events, the same community that celebrated Jesus elected to execute Jesus, killing him in one of the cruelest ways possible.
There really is zero judgment in me whatsoever. My seemingly constantly curious mind simply sits with a couple key questions — questions, I admit — I can’t answer.
Why didn’t they recognize Jesus 2,000 ago?
Why don’t we always recognize him now?
What gets in the way?
Again, I don’t have the right answers. I have no idea what I would have done in that community centuries ago.
I simply find it fascinating that all the world’s major religions include Jesus in their description of reality; they neither deny his existence nor discount the entirety of his wisdom. He is revered and respected in various degrees by our brothers and sisters adhering to Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. That prompts me to pay attention to his story.
I think of that week leading up to the crucifixion — an event that is acknowledged across diverse, organized religions…
Here Jesus comes into Israel’s capital city, and yet, the crowd seemed to have no idea as to who he was or what he was planning to do. But yet — they celebrate.
Writes respected author Paul David Tripp in regard to the surging crowd…
“They cry, ‘Hosanna’ (which means, ‘Save us’), but the salvation they are looking for is temporal and political. They think the Messiah will set up an earthly kingdom that will break the back of Roman rule. This is why Jesus cannot be distracted by the adulatory desires of the crowd around him. He knows the hearts of people and how fickle they can be.”
I often wonder if that’s a little how I am some days — looking for salvation in something earthly… looking for love in all the wrong places, so-to-speak. Where am I investing so much time and energy in something lesser? … in things that can’t so-called “save” me or give me a hope that lasts… that’s unshakeable. I wonder where I find faith in what’s temporal… or what my emotions lead me most to… or if I ever crave more from the political arena than it was ever intended — and capable — of actually delivering. Politics will never be a savior. It can’t. I wish we got that. I’m thinking it would change how we treat one another in the current day.
I wonder if that in totality is what gets in the way… we keep looking for salvation in people and places that are incapable of saving us; we keep placing our faith and hope in things that aren’t lasting or able.
As the week comes to a close, and Easter prompts me to yes, sing but also be solemn and still, I find myself still asking questions…
… being curious…
A blessed Easter to you, friends… Wherever you are on your faith journey, may it be one filled with curiosity, joy, and an unshaken hope that will forever last.