Luke describes the mission simply in Mary’s Song:
…He has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate…
It is called the Great Reversal.
Sunday is when Jesus moved into Jerusalem. For 3 years Jesus had circled the countryside investing in the poor, the lost, the lonely, the misfits, and the outcast. Then one day, he set his eyes upon Jerusalem. And He began a slow march towards his death.
He knew that Jerusalem was a place of confrontation and ultimately death. As he moved in that direction, his words became more directed at the ruling class. He was not exalting the humble, but chipping down the pride of the mighty.
Those who thought they have it together he tried to shake them awake; those who thought they could earn their way into heaven he tried to expose; those who thought they could capitalize off this revolution he reminded to serve.
And when he arrived in Bethany about to move into Jerusalem, there was another procession entering from the opposite side of town. Pilate and the Roman government was showing up as well. They had to get ready because millions of Jews were returning to the city to celebrate Palm Sunday.
While Jesus entered from the West on a lowly colt, under the shouts of Hosanna, Rome arrived in full military processional.
As this week unfolds, Palm Sunday requires us to wrestle with which side we are aligning with.
As I reflected this morning, it made me think of this great scene–while one will lose the fight on Friday–Thanks be to God the lowly was able to rise up again (well, except for Rocky V):