And so begins Holy Week...
Today is Palm Sunday...it is a story recorded in all four of the gospels in various detail and depth: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19.
The shortest is perhaps Johns version...the most detailed perhaps Matthews. (I am partial to Matthew, so my opinion may be skewed.)
Jayden and I were listening to the song Drops in the Ocean by Hawk Nelson. There is a line in the song: If you want to see how much you mean to Me, look at My hands, look at My side.
I asked my sweet 8 year old if he knew what it meant, and ensued a conversation that was probably a lot for his eight year old heart to take. We embarked on the simplest way I knew how to explain why there would be a wound in Jesus side. He asked me to stop talking "all this death."
It got me really thinking about Palm Sunday...My children know of the Lordship of Jesus, of the miraculously empty tomb. They know of Heavenly eternity and how Jesus loves them so much He came for them. It is enough for now in their journey. But it is far from being the whole of the story. Christmas and Easter belong together...He came, yes...but He also suffered and died.
I remained in the happy parts of the resurrection story for far too long in my own Christian journey.
I comfortably camped there in the "Happily Eve After" until after 30 years of age. Its a nice place to camp. But it does not grant us the perspective of our freedom from sin that we really should have.
One day, on the drive home, I heard a radio program where a doctor was describing the physical aspects of Crucifixion. As I listened to the very graphic explanation of how the process worked in Roman times and the effects on the body of such a torturous method of execution, I had to pull over on the side of the road.
I was sick to my stomach and sobbing so uncontrollably that I was not safe driving. The truth of just the physical suffering is enough to wreck my frail human heart. I almost dare not consider the spiritual suffering that Jesus endured.
For me. For you. For us all.
My favorite version of the Palm Sunday story is the one in Matthew: