We begin the holiest of weeks in the Christian year by remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Amidst the waving palms is a sense of unrest among the people, a sense of hope that a messiah may just be in their midst. Change is in the air even if people don’t know exactly what that change may be like.
Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus instructs two disciples to go and borrow a colt for him to ride into Jerusalem. They are very intentional about telling the colt’s owner that they will return the colt. On the surface, this seems like a minor detail. When we explore deeper, we see that this signals a major change from common practice. In our lives, the change often comes though details and encounters that seem minor. You see it wasn’t unusual in Jesus’ day for a Roman or Temple official to “borrow” animals from people. These animals were also never returned and often they were killed. Jesus insists on handling his borrowing of the colt differently. A large number of people were beginning to believe that Jesus was the type of king that had been promised. The mere promise of a return would have signaled that something was different, that this could be the one they had been waiting on their whole lives.
As we enter into this Holy time, we are reminded that in Jesus, we see the God for whom we are longing. We see the way of love, peace, justice, and grace that the world so desperately needs. In Jesus, we see a way this is vastly different, one that gives life at every turn.
I will be in prayer that our spirits and lives are open to recognizing all the ways in which this gift, most especially in an empty tomb.