From Hosanna to Crucify Him
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 22:1-49
Passion Sunday 6th Sunday of Lent
There was a son of a German Officer in charge of a Jewish concentration camp. This boy befriended a young Jew of his age because there was nobody else he could play with. One day the German officer caught the Jewish kid eating biscuit from the family table. When asked, the frightened boy claimed it was given by his son who however denied it. Consequently the father had the Jew mauled. If this were a parable of our life we could say that Christ is the Jewish friend and we are that German kid.
Jesus enters Jerusalem this Sunday for the last time because the Pharisees had been planning to kill Him. He has managed to escape many times before. But this time He won’t. He would surrender Himself for this is the plan of His Father. The Jews greet Him “Hosanna” and call Him “Son of David”. He enters through a welcome fit for a king that is the waving of palm branches, and the cloak strewn path. But he rides a donkey not a horse. A king rides a horse in battle. But when it is donkey his purpose is peace. Jesus enters Holy Week to make peace between God and the people and among the people themselves.
Continuing with our first story, later on the German kid tried to repair the broken friendship with the Jewish boy by helping him search for his missing father. So he dug and crawled under the barbed fence into the camp dressed in a prisoner’s striped pajamas. Unfortunately it was just the time to gas the Jews. In the end he paid the price but not without his friend beside him.
The Jews today cry “Hosanna to the Son of David” yet after five days it would instead be “Crucify him”. How quickly they change allegiance. Is it the same with us? Have we also betrayed someone who has been good to us so that that someone had to suffer in our stead?
How did Jesus manage to move from the praises to the condemnation of the very same people whom in the end He would still save? It could only be His filial love to the Father and nothing else.
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