Palm Sunday and Screaming Rocks

Posted: April 9, 2017 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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We’re entering the time that, for Christians, is the holiest time of the year. Today is Palm Sunday. This was the day when it seemed like it was all coming together for Jesus (to everyone but Jesus). He enters Jerusalem, riding on the colt of a donkey. This may seem cruel, big man on a little horse, but please don’t miss the symbolism. When a king came into a city looking to make war, he would ride in on a (usually white) stallion. But when a king came in peace, he would ride in on the cold of a donkey. It’s kind of hard to look threatening riding a little donkey. As he rides into the city, the people lay their cloaks on the street before Him as well as palm branches, hence the name. They are showing him the ultimate respect. “Don’t let your even animal’s hooves touch the dirty ground. Here, ride on my cloak instead.” They are shouting praise, “Hosanna,” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” They are recognizing Him as the King that will rule forever and they are praising him.

The religious leaders tell Jesus to silence the people. They still don’t believe and most of them never will. Pride and position are keeping them from it. They know the scriptures better than most of the people. They should see what Jesus has been doing and be the ones leading the cheers. Instead they have chosen to ignore three years of evidence, signs and wonders. Pride is a terrible thing. Jesus turns to them and says “I tell you if they keep quiet the stones will cry out.” This passage inspired me to create a piece of art that I still keep in my office as a reminder. It’s a self portrait painted on a rock. The face is screaming and the message is simple, don’t let the rocks cry out for you. You praise the Lord. (You should probably make yourself one of these.)

What has always struck me about this incident is that some of those same people that are throwing down their robes and praising on Sunday, will be shouting “Crucify!” by Friday. Pride and power will win the day as the people become convinced that Jesus can’t be Lord because He won’t do what they think He should. Of course the thing we all need to keep in mind is if you think Jesus can’t be Lord because He won’t do things your way. He’s not really Lord of your Life, you are. Of course, while pride and power may have won the day on Good Friday, Jesus won the war forever on the third day.

Those people in the crowd got it wrong on Good Friday, (though, in the long run, they still played into God’s hand) but they were right on Palm Sunday. “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

He is Lord. Praise Him.

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