Monday, March 29, 2010

Hosanna in the Highest!

It's Holy Week--by far my favorite week of the year. I always enjoyed Easter, always looked forward to Palm Sunday, but in high school I began to see the importance of the entire week when my church started holding a Maundy Thursday dinner and special prayer services and fasting on Good Friday.

But of course, it became really special when I was 15 and got the inspiration for A Stray Drop of Blood. Since then . . . this is a week that I claim, a week when I focus more on Him than any other time, a week when He inevitably reveals something to me. I can't wait to see what He has in store for me this year!

So we're deviating from the norm this week. Monday through Thursday I'm going to go through the events recorded in the Gospels, from Palm Sunday throughout the week. On Friday I have a giveaway/interview scheduled, but have no fear! I've already written two posts that will be featured on other blogs that day. =) I'll give you links to those. (Cuz I'm sure you were SO worried about missing a day of my oh-so-brilliant insight, right? LOL)

Okay, Palm Sunday. I'm sure most of us are aware of what went down. Jesus had his disciples loose a donkey colt, which the owners graciously allowed them to do as soon as they said, "The Lord has need of it." Prophecy fulfilled. He rode into Jerusalem on it, where the multitudes waved palm branches and tossed their clothes into the streets for him to ride across. Most anyone with footnotes in their Bibles will also know that this was standard practice when a prince visited on a mission of peace. Pretty cool, eh?

So. Prince of Peace enters Jerusalem. And what does he do? He promptly goes to the temple and overturns the money-changers' tables, quoting the "house of prayer/den of thieves" stuff. (I know, I'm SO quoting word for word. Bear with me, I don't want this to be so long it bores you, ha ha.) Now, I have heard many a person--myself included--use this section of the Bible to talk about Righteous Indignation, i.e. a kind of anger that is Godly.

My hubby pointed out years and years ago that that's stretching it. See, he struggles with temper, so I suspect that's why the idea of it ever being okay struck him as a little dangerous. Wanna know what he said? "It never says Jesus was angry. It never says he went into a rage. We're told when he feels other emotions, but not here. He just does it. And wouldn't that be even more powerful? That he didn't go in and do this out of anger, righteous or not. He did it to prove a point ONLY. We're told that he weeps over the city, being moved to sorrow. We're not told that he sees this and just snaps, roars out his fury, and wreaks havoc."

Well, huh. Every . . . single . . . person I've ever heard talk about this passage has done the righteous anger take. Until David. But each and every time he's presented his point of view to a group, the leaders have ended up reconsidering. My husband has struck on a truth. The Prince of Peace did not immediately snap and go on a rampage. The Prince of Peace threw down a gauntlet.

Every single step he took while in Jerusalem for the Passover had a purpose. No, make that A Purpose. I highly doubt this first one was to say, "It's okay to lose your temper, y'all, so long as it's when someone's doing something bad." I think maybe instead he was saying, "Don't suffer it when they turn the house of God into something it shouldn't be. Change it." And then what does he do? He heals the lame and blind, and the children start singing about him. Doesn't exactly sound like someone who just scared the daylights out of someone with the flashing rage in their eyes, does it? Especially because the next day he's talking about forgiveness.

I'm going to close out each day with a snippet from Stray Drop, simply because it's stuff I've already written and thought through and put a lot of prayer into. I debated how big a part to make Palm Sunday and decided it would best be only hinted at. Here's my only mention of it, as witnessed by two Roman centurions:

Outside, they discovered quickly that the streets leading from the northern gate were not sympathetic to their plan. They were clogged with people, townspeople who usually moved far out of their way to avoid the Roman soldiers. Today, they ignored their existence.

"Are those palm branches?” Menelaus looked in disbelief at the street over a woman’s shoulder. “What, is there some prince visiting today that we have not heard of?”

"It is Messiah!” a woman proclaimed as if in answer to his question, pointing in the distance at a point he could not make out. “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Lord! Hosanna!”

She was not the only one calling out, shouting with joy at the approach of whomever it was they called Messiah. "Jesus!” another cried nearby.

Menelaus rolled his eyes. “Not him again. Come, let us take the alley.”

Titus made no argument. They bypassed the congestion and made their way silently to the house.


  1. Commenting on my own post. Sheesh. ;-) Also felt the need to laugh at myself and share that when I was 6 or so, I thought everyone was singing "Roseanna" instead of "Hosanna" this time of year. I felt marginally justified when, many years later, another little 6-yr-old at church looked at me and asked, "How come they're singing about you, Roseanna?" LOL.

  2. Greetings,
    Thanks for writing this. I also love Easter week. Easter is my favorite holiday even more than Christmas. It is such a blessed time of the year.
    Oh, also love the story about Roseanna instead of Hosanna. Really sweet.
    Trinity Rose