Sunday, April 05, 2009

“being honoured” is a very fickle thing.

Today is Palm Sunday.

It is the day that we are reminded that Jesus was honoured by Jerusalem… but this reminder always lies in the shadow of Good Friday – when Jerusalem stripped him of his honour.
Mark’s Gospel tells of a crowd that gives Jesus great honour.
Mar 11:8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.
Mar 11:9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

But this is a bitter sweet moment…. Because it does not last.
A week later there is another crowd gathered around Jesus:
But this time they are hostile:
Mar 15:12 Pilate spoke again to the crowd, "What, then, do you want me to do with the one you call the king of the Jews?"
Mar 15:13 They shouted back, "Crucify him!"
Mar 15:14 "But what crime has he committed?" Pilate asked. They shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

Two crowds – the same man – two different reactions.
Which really illustrates the way we human beings can be shaped by the people around us.

I saw this in this past week of South African history:
1994: Desmond Tutu is the chaplain to the President of the ANC. Nelson Mandela asks him to pray for the nation and the crowds all bow their heads.
2009: The ANC refuse to listen to anything that Desmond Tutu says.
The same man – two different crowds…….

My prayer is that God would continue to strengthen Bishop Tutu. My prayer for him is found in the Palm Sunday Psalm:
Psa 118:26 May God bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD! From the Temple of the LORD we bless you.
Psa 118:27 The LORD is God; he has been good to us. With branches in your hands, start the festival and march around the altar.

1 comment:

digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

So true Pete!

Amazingly the 'word verification' for this post is 'marturion'! (the Greek word for 'Witness' and 'Martyr')

As our friend Alan Storey has been known to comment "If you live for the truth you had better 'look good on wood' - since that is where the The Truth ended up his life! All those who live his way shall follow his way...' (or something like that).

With love,