I wonder who were in that crowd of joyful praise that first Palm Sunday? The whole of the city of Jerusalem had come with the loud Hosannas and Palm branches to welcome the coming King. There were many in that crowd whose lives Jesus had touched and changed forever. The woman healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak and the widow of Nain whose son had been restored to her must have been there. So too the centurion whose servant had been restored and Jairus the synagogue ruler whose daughter Jesus brought to life. The adulterous woman spared from the zealous legalists who would have stoned her to death could now look her accusers in the eye and Zacchaeus, the tax collector fraudster had no need to climb a tree for he now he was changed and had made peace with those he had taken for a ride. And what about Mary and Martha who in Bethany had seen their brother Lazarus emerge from the grave at the command of the King of Kings? Many that Palm Sunday had seen their lives wonderfully changed by God’s power and now was the time to give Him praise!
How was it then that by the end of the week the cries of Hosanna had changed to ‘Crucify Him’? The religious hierarchy’s response was typical of all who even today breed hate and division and who indoctrinate the young with their zealous and deadly teachings. Within days Pontius Pilate had washed his hands, the disciples of Jesus were scattered and the proclaimed kingdom of God’s righteousness and justice seemed well trodden underfoot. The likes of Caiaphas, the chief Priest and others of the religious elite smugly content that they had succeeded in turning praise to hatred and mob rule.
All these centuries later there are so millions suffering in the world through the dominance of cruel and tyrannical dictatorship. The despicable chemical attack on innocent men women and children in Syria has left the world shocked and perplexed at the extent evil will go in its insatiable desire to destroy and dominate regardless of human cost and suffering.. While the world stands in horror and disbelief at such actions this Holy week leading to Good Friday and the Easter message of resurrection gives light to our darkness. Evil will be judged by the Cross of Jesus where all manifestations of death, cruelty, torture and untold suffering led to the victory of the empty tomb. God will punish evil and will reward faith which looks beyond this world to a day when the kingdom of God will come on earth as it is in heaven. This Sunday why not join the celebration which will resound around the world?. He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

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