Have you ever watched a horror movie and been at the point where you are almost yelling at the characters on the tv – “Don’t go in there!” You know bad things are going to happen and of course, they go in there. That’s how I feel about this passage.
Palm Sunday is one of those Sundays in the Christian calendar where it’s hard to know what to say. It’s a story that we repeat every year – knowing full well what is going to happen when Jesus goes into Jerusalem. And so, I wonder, what do we do with passages that we engage annually. There is only so much to unpack and discuss. There are only so many points to be made about how Jesus rides a donkey instead of a horse and how he comes into Jerusalem on a back road. How there is a contrast between his lowly steed and how people greet him by laying down cloaks and palm branches in his path.
And this story is included every year. Every year we watch this movie again. Knowing what will happen when Jesus goes in there. Witnessing to the cluelessness of the disciples over and over and over again. Grimacing through the brutality that will come later this week and rejoicing in the miracle that will come next Sunday. We watch this movie again every year.
And perhaps that is the point. Our way into understanding God is to understand the story of God. To drench ourselves in the stories of how people have understood God’s story. Stories that have been passed from one generation of believers to the next for centuries. As I have said before, for me, that is the testament of the scripture – it has survived as a source of wisdom and understanding and guidance for centuries. Each generation listening and passing it along.