Yesterday marked the beginning of Holy Week. Just in case you’re not familiar with the term, Holy Week is the seven days Christians take to remember and reflect on the events that led Jesus to the cross and, ultimately, his resurrection that we celebrate on Easter Sunday. Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, and many churches spend the day reflecting on Jesus’s final entry into Jerusalem. With that walk, we have a community of people acknowledging the supremacy of who Jesus is. There are large crowds. Coats honorable laid on the ground. Waving palm branches. Celebrations and admiration. Many sermons focus on detailing the vivid imagery regarding the waving palm branches and the shouting onlookers - “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9)
Here’s what is interesting for me. Jesus—who went nowhere with self-promoting fanfare—starts his final entry into Jerusalem on the lowliest of animals to be met with the loudest and most celebratory of welcomes. He picked an animal created to serve. He picked an animal that symbolized peace. He picked an animal known for being sure and steady rather than prominent and proud. Jesus didn’t say bring me a horse. He said bring me a donkey.
I think Jesus chose the method that matched his mission. He came to serve, not to be served. He is known as the Prince of Peace, not the orchestrator of war. And in every situation where circumstances got rough, and people were unpredictable, Jesus was sure and steady. His character never wavered. His actions were dictated by what would bring about peace and wholeness, not replicate power and prestige. Jesus was intentional! Can we say the same? As Jesus followers, called to this ministry of reconciliation, does our method match our mission?
In one of his final moments of exaltation, he put his weight on a symbol of service, peace, and humility. True—Jesus was en route to be the payment that would mend our relationship with God, but he did so on the principles of service, peace, and humility as the people called out “Hosanna” or “God save us!” Maybe the saving power of God is not in a forceful presence but in a peaceful and humble progression. A progression that isn’t subservient to evil but just knows that you can’t match power with power and expect to get humility backed by love. Maybe the progression towards reconciliation moves in such a way that exalts God’s ability over our positions. Jesus’s march towards the cross is the walk of reconciliation. During this week, that is holy and set apart, to help us remember the work of Christ, how can you walk out service, peace, and humility as you go about being reconciled to God and others?