April 13, 2014, Palm Sunday

“The people gave him a wonderful welcome." Mark 11:8, The Message


“Holy Week is a story almost everyone thinks they know but more than likely do not.” That is the assertion of Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan in their very readable book, “The Last Week.”

Most everyone knows that on what we call Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey with his followers waving palm branches as he went along. We even refer to it as “the triumphal entry.” What many people are not aware of is that this was one of two parades that day. Jesus and his followers entering from the East and a more powerful, much more powerful, contingent entering from the West. Jesus from the peasant village of Nazareth rode a donkey.

At the other end of the city Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor entered Jerusalem at the head of a column of imperial cavalry and soldiers. Jesus’ procession proclaimed the kingdom of God. Pilate’s proclaimed the power of the empire. The story calls us, invites us to see which of the two processions we are in and support. By being part of which are we truly following Jesus?


Dear and Holy God, as we begin this week toward the cross and resurrection, may we have the wisdom and courage to follow him who offers true freedom and life.                                                                      

Dr. Bill Kerley