Bishop Ward discusses Palm Sunday and the week leading up to it in this Connections video. Read the transcript below and watch the video above.
“You want to borrow my donkey?” In my imagining, the child who owned the donkey was mystified. The disciples had been sent by Jesus to find the donkey and to borrow the donkey, the one that had never yet been ridden. I imagine the child loaning the donkey in trust.
Jesus rides into Jerusalem on the back of this small humble animal. A victorious ruler would have chosen a great steed, a wonderful horse, would have had armor, and would have brandished swords and other weapons. But Jesus chooses this way to enter the city.
On a donkey’s back, he could be touched by little children and those along the way. People waved palm branches. They laid the palm branches in his path. They even took their own cloaks and coats off and put them in front of the donkey, so that Jesus had a path of cloaks and palm branches. The children waved the branches and sang “Hosanna, hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
As we wave palm branches on this Sunday and as we sing “Hosanna,” we greet the one who comes to save us, not with might of a great warrior, but with the power of one who knows humility opens the way to God. The one who comes to bring peace. The one who weeps over Jerusalem before this Holy Week is over. The one who is denied and betrayed by those who have been closest to him. The one who takes off the towel around his waist and washes the feet of the disciples. The one who eats at table with those closest to him and offers them the bread and the cup. The one who finally will be led to Calvary and crucified between two thieves for our salvation.
As we approach Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday very soon, may we give thanks for the one who comes to save us and may we remember again the way that Jesus saves and leads. And may we, like Jesus, choose the way of humble obedience, so that in time, we may, like Jesus, be raised to glory.