HOLY WEEK: PALM SUNDAY
Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Matthew 21:7-11 tells us of the triumphal entry. Here we see Jesus entering the city on a donkey, with people putting their coats and palm branches on the road over which Jesus rides. It is a parade fit for a King! Everyone is invited, everyone comes, everyone–for that moment, anyway–is free. All of their sin, their bondage, their lives under the law, none of it condemns them, for Jesus is here.
Everyone loves a parade…at least in theory. Like many people, we often spent time each Thanksgiving watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Even as we grew older, it was always fun to watch. There were no responsibilities. We could leave to snack, to talk to other family members and the people in the parade or around us wouldn’t be upset in any way. We would not disrupt what was going on.
But one year, that changed. When we got older and had children of our own, we thought it would be a good idea to go to New York City to watch the parade live. Leaving Boston around midnight, we drove through the night, arrived, found a parking garage and got a few minutes of sleep. We then found a spot and parked our crew on the edge of the street. You know what? It wasn’t as good as we anticipated. People weren’t all excited. In fact, just to find McDonald’s for a restroom for kids was disruptive, especially when the sidewalks were packed. We weren’t in the safety, the security, the peace of our home any longer.
When we are in Christ, we get to rest. Yes, it is challenging, and yes, it will disrupt both your life and the lives of those around you. But there is peace even in those times. There is freedom to be in community. There is opportunity to forgive and be forgiven. The struggle in the flesh is shared with others and lived out through the power of the Spirit, not on our own.
We begin the battle, though, always in the flesh. Our flesh is powerful, but we can often lay it aside momentarily when Jesus comes by. We want him to see that we’re willing to lay down our coats, just not our lives. The beauty though? He doesn’t condemn us. He knows we’ll condemn ourselves by our actions, our words, our thoughts, but He won’t. He will keep riding–peacefully, obediently–to what His Father has in store for us.