Holy Week: Palm Sunday
In one of the best movies of all time,Boyz n the Hood, has one of the saddest endings in a movie ever. (Spoiler alert soon but if you haven’t seen it by now that’s way too long.) Ricky Baker is an athlete who lives in the hood in California in the early 90s. While he’s not personally involved in gang life he is someone who is affiliated with others who are deep into it. The movie goes to show that a recruiter from USC just needed his test scores to get higher and that he’d receive a full scholarship. This would be a huge moment for him as it’d be his ticket out of a rough life. Well if you’ve seen the movie you know that eventually he is gunned down by a gang who felt slighted earlier and it is tragically revealed that his test scores would have been high enough for Ricky to get that scholarship.
The reason I am discussing this movie in reference to Jesus’ Palm Sunday is that it is hard to celebrate an event when you know that it is followed by something so horrific just moments later. When you watch one of your favorite movies in which a character dies it only makes it more tragic to relive the good moments that because you know what is going to happen next. Think of rewatching the Lion King, the Titanic, or recently Gomorrah in the popular Avengers’ movies.
Reading this passage in Matthew it is jarring to read how the crowds were enthusiastically welcoming Jesus as the king of Israel knowing that just moments later he was going to be crucified at the request of the masses shouting “crucify him” and preferring his death to that of a criminal’s. It speaks to the fickle nature of us at how we can celebrate God in moments that we feel he is going to do something good for us but reject him when it may not go the way we think it should. As we begin this week let’s never fail to remember that it is not by our strength of commitment to God that keeps us with him but rather his amazing love that holds us even when we reject him. Let us be mindful this week of Jesus’ sacrifice and commitment to march towards it even knowing that his creation would praise him one day and slaughter him the next.