Palm Sunday Jesus resolves to ride into Jerusalem and expose himself publicly, even though he realizes the dangers he will face since the Jewish leaders have been clamouring for his arrest. From the Roman Governor’s view, this was a dangerous time to keep peace and order with the impending Jewish Passover festival and the last thing the Roman authorities wanted was a riot stirred by religious intolerance. So when Jesus enters Jerusalem the atmosphere is tense.
As Jesus set out from the Mount of Olives for the final descent into the holy city many people had gathered on the roadside to welcome him. Many of these had no doubt witnessed his healing, and listened to his preaching, but some perhaps were there to have a glimpse of this man who had been causing a stir by his radical teaching. As crowds go this would not have been much different from any other crowd then and ever since. The majority found themselves going along with the general consensus, which was to acknowledge joyfully Jesus as king. Yet we know, that within five days this consensus would drastically change.
On this wonderful day of waving palm branches and processing into Jerusalem it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and get carried along by the moving parade. Our test however, comes the next day. Are we prepared to stay with Jesus as the atmosphere changes? Do we dare to stand as he faces constant conflict? Are we there for all the encounters that he will face this week?