Pastor’s Corner: It Wasn’t Supposed to Go that Way

April 8, 2020

It wasn’t supposed to go that way.

The tone of Palm Sunday was supposed to set the tone of the rest of the week. The crowd’s shouts of “Hosannah! Save us!” should have become active support for the Jesus Movement. The cloaks laid on the road should have become real people offering real loyalty.  The royal imagery (admittedly humble royal imagery) should have turned into affirmation of Jesus’ rule.

Instead, Jesus spent the next few days having theological conversations in the Temple. He would best the arguments of one opponent and take on another. Some who rejoiced at the disposal of one teacher’s convictions found themselves confounded next. By Tuesday, conversation had shifted to sermon, “nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.” (Matthew 22:45)

Theological “victory,” however, must have got beneath the skin of some of Jesus’ followers. As Messiah, he should have begun his campaign to cast out the Roman occupiers, cleanse the Temple of its sycophantic priests (not just moneychangers, thank you), and reestablish the realm of his ancestor David. The week had begun with so much promise. Jesus had let the energy of the crowds dissipate. Would they support him when the time came?

Then: Arrest in the dark. Closest followers scattered. A midnight trial. No sign of supportive crowds. By morning, Jesus was in Roman hands. By mid-afternoon, he was dead.

It wasn’t supposed to go that way.

But he also wasn’t supposed to rise from the dead, either. He wasn’t supposed to have a power so much greater than ever imagined for an earthly monarch. He wasn’t supposed to establish a new relationship with God.

It wasn’t supposed to go that way, but it did.

In this uncomfortable, unfamiliar Holy Week of “it shouldn’t be like this,” remember and hope:

It wasn’t supposed to go that way, but it did.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on April 9, 2020

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