It’s a gray, chilly first day of spring here in northern Virginia.
It’s also Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of the holiest week of the year for Christians. On this day we look back to Jesus’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, when he was hailed as a hero. The enthusiastic adoration of the crowd was with him, for the moment.
Less than a week later, he would be dead.
Next Sunday marks Jesus’s true triumph, of course, on Easter Sunday. But before that, he faced betrayal, the cross, agony, and death. It’s tempting for us today to skip from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, from joy to joy. But Christians are called to spend some time this week contemplating those exceedingly dark days between. Not to do so lessens the power of the risen Christ.
For additional thoughts on Palm Sunday and Holy Week, see this post from 2012: Palm Sunday: Everyone Loves a Winner.