Day 45: I love a Parade (Luke 19:28-48)
Today’s Passage: Luke 19:28-48
It seems out of nowhere a crowd appears and there is a parade. For most days, the crowd has been silent. The voice of the religious of the day has been filling our ears.
The people are excited. Today they are yelling, “Hosanna!” It is a Jewish patriotic chant, possibly equivalent to God Bless America. It is the chant of people seeking a revolution.
The religious are nervous. This sort of commotion will get the attention of the Roman Guard. Jesus’ comment? He notes even the stones will cry out. Yet in a moment he too, will cry.
I enter into this scene thinking of a parade. Who doesn’t love a parade. As a young boy, I marched in our village’s annual Independence Day Parade.
I am now asking myself, what did that parade mean? We are individuals in a consumer-driven world; I don’t know about you, but many people today attend parades to consume various things. They come to hear great bands, marvel at amazing floats, be entertained, and party with their friends.
But at a collective level, why hold a parade, what does it stand for? My answer would be that it depends. Sometimes it is a commemoration, a celebratory remembering of a defining moment or movement. When it is held for those reasons, it is meant to draw our minds and hearts to who we are, at a deep level. I think of Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, etc.
Other times it is meant to honor a great accomplishment like the parades that are held after a victory, be it the Super Bowl or World War 2. The celebration is immediate; the sheer joy of accomplishment cannot be contained.
Then there are parades that rally the troops and energize the cause. The bigger the number of people, the louder the cry to the world, “Pay attention!”
Is that what is happening on this day in Scripture? Is it a rally? For some in the crowd, chanting Hosanna, it probably seemed that way.
For Jesus, I think it was, and it was not. Yes, it was in some ways “crowning him,” but he knows that the people neither understand his kingdom, nor do they understand that this political attitude will lead to the destruction of Jerusalem. This desire, on the part of the people, for an earthly kingdom, will be their undoing. Rome will have no part of it, and a few decades after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, this special city will be razed.
Yet there is a parallel dimension to this day. On this day, maybe after the parade is over, the Jewish people would go and select the lamb to be sacrificed on Passover. Today is Lamb Selection Day (Exodus 12:1–6).
What most of the people do not know, is that this day, they have selected Jesus to die for the sins of the world. I realize of course that this has been God’s plan all along, but the intersection of God’s plan and man’s world is at times stunning—for me this is one such moment.