Palm Sunday’s Sunshine Patriots

By Judge Anna von Reitz | Big Lake, Alaska

It’s Palm Sunday, so called because people lining the streets of Jerusalem cut palm fronds to sweep the streets in front of Yehushuah as he rode his humble donkey into town, a dusty saint on his way to Golgotha.

Nobody but he knew the course of his journey.

So far as everyone else could see, it was all happiness and peace and triumph for the Great Teacher, the Rabbi of Galilee. But he already knew the story’s ending.

One can only imagine the bittersweet torture he endured entering the City of David, knowing it was his city and his people, knowing also that while many were there to welcome him and shout praises — there were more who would turn away in pride and anger.

Who was he, a nobody carpenter from Nazareth, to be celebrated and acclaimed?

Oh, sure, he was supposed to be related way back to the ancient King David. Certainly, there were plenty of others who could and did make the same claim.

And as for all those rumors of miracles, well, who had actually seen these things? And how could you be sure that they were not some form of trick or fraud?

Then, as now, people were familiar with illusionists and magicians.

No reason to suppose a supernatural origin for card tricks, is there? No doubt he paid some beggars to work with him and create all these miracles.

He knew that the same city that welcomed him and sang “Hosannah!” on Palm Sunday would reject him and kill him a week later — and it would all be over money and life itself.

Money, because of the way he attacked the money-changers at the Temple, who were key to the Temple operations and its bottom line.

Without money changers to translate the various coins into doves and goats and sheep and bullocks, the great barbecue would come to an end, and with it a substantial part of the city’s welfare program.

The priests would get a huge pay cut. The Romans would have civil unrest. Can’t have that, can we?

And then there was the issue of Lazarus. Everyone put up with healing sick people, but raising the dead? Where was the line to be drawn? Soon he could be raising an army of the dead to strike at Rome — if the rumors were true, — and what could mortal men do against such an army?

The superstitious Romans had no stomach for that.

And among the Hebrew scholars another kind of debate and fear was rising like a thunderhead in the afternoon: if he is raising the dead, isn’t that consorting with the dead? If he is speaking to the dead, as he reportedly spoke to this Lazarus fellow, isn’t that necromancy? And isn’t this forbidden under penalty of death?

Well, so it is, since the days of Moses and the giving of the Law.

But he, Yehushuah, came to break the Law by fulfilling it. So he rode on and no doubt he smiled through tears at the crowd.

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