I wonder who were in that crowd of joyful praise that first Palm Sunday. The people raised their palm branches high and shouted loud ‘Hosanna to him who comes in the name of the Lord’ as he came into the city here the whole drama of this Holy week would unfold. The woman healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak must have been there.  So too the centurion whose servant had been healed and Jairus the synagogue ruler whose little daughter Jesus restored to him.  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 hated tax collector had no need to climb a tree for he now had the new found confidence to push himself to the front row!  And what about Mary and Martha who in Bethany who had seen their brother Lazarus emerge from the grave at the command of the King of Kings?  Many that day had seen their lives wonderfully changed by God’s grace and now was the time to give Him the praise!

Yet within days the mood of celebration would be drastically changed.  No longer ‘Hosanna’ but ‘Crucify Him’ Those who opposed Jesus would see him done to death and there would follow for him the pain and agony of the Cross.  The disciples would be scattered and all would seem lost –Yet the good News of Easter is that God raised his son from the dead and this weekend we celebrate that evil and death does not have the last word.   That at the heart of the universe is a God of love who in the death and resurrection of his son gives us this living faith and hope.  Death could not hold him the grave could not handle him.   This Sunday the joy of celebration will resound around the world – He is Risen – He is Risen indeed!

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