Sometimes, I get caught up in the moment. When Lucy and I honeymooned in Vegas, we ran across Michael Jackson - the REAL Michael Jackson. I forgot myself completely. I was a frenzied groupie shouting, "Michael, Michael!" and waving my hands in the air. I got caught up in the moment.
I imagine that when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, people got caught up in the moment. The Jewish people had warm up acts in Judas Maccabeus and John the Baptist, and they were hoping that the man riding into the city was the one who could make a change; scripture calls it the "fullness of time." So when Jesus rode into the city, is it any wonder that people lined the streets, throwing their coats to make a "red carpet?" The shouts of "hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" were heard because they hoped this man was the man of the hour - a political or military leader from the prophecies they had heard all of their lives.
Later that week, when they saw him in front of Pontius Pilate, they felt duped. they had been caught up in the moment only to find out it was not at all what they expected. In the violent political climate of the time, the shouts of "Crucify him!" were not a surprising response. A few short days later, Jesus carried the cross down the Via Dolorosa and again, the people were caught up in the moment. The shouts at Jesus on the way to the crucifixion were not shouts of hope, but shouts of hate.
This Holy Week, unlike the people of Jerusalem, we must be more than groupies who get caught up in the moment. instead, we must accept Jesus for who He really is - a Suffering Servant, the Sacrificial Lam. When we get caught up in the moments that constitute the pageantry of Easter, let us focus our attention on the beauty of the Cross and the hope of the Resurrection.
- Dr. Brad Green