A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
- Matthew 21:8-9
Matthew tells us that Jesus caused quite a scene when he entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. There were already large crowds following Jesus into the city. Now, thousands more lined the streets to welcome him. As Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, the people laid down cloaks and palm branches ahead of him. Everyone spoke of Jesus' mighty miracles. They gushed about his preaching with authority. They whispered with anticipation how Jesus defied authority of the religious leaders. Could this be the long-awaited Messiah, God's Anointed One? Could this be the One, who would save God's people? The events of Holy Week reveal the fickleness of our faith. Like the crowds, we easily cheer and offer loud praises on Sunday - when the sun is shining and life is good. However, cheers turn to jeers and praises turn to condemnation on Friday - when storm clouds roll in and life becomes difficult. During Holy Week, the brokenness of our hearts and shallowness of our worship are exposed for all to see. When you think about it, Jesus didn't have to make a scene as he entered Jerusalem. He could have entered the Holy City quietly and unnoticed as he had countless times before. But he didn't. At the start of Holy Week, Jesus instigated the praises of the crowds. He provided fuel for the ire of his opponents. He deliberately attracted the attention of the Romans. The key question is WHY? The answer is LOVE. Driven by love, Jesus marched into Jerusalem. Driven by love, he prepared the crowds, his opponents, even the Romans for the events of the coming days. Driven by love, Jesus prepared his way to Calvary. Friends, today is Holy Tuesday. As we continue our Lenten journey, let's remember the story and reflect on our Lord's love and sacrifice for us.