So the people came out to greet Jesus as he approached Jerusalem. They tore palm branches down which they laid in the road path together with their coats for his donkey to walk on. All was fine! Jesus was their hero and was going to deliver them from the oppression of the Romans.
One must conclude that the people had not been listening very well to Jesus’ sermons, as these had pointed in a different direction. But never mind that! In their heads they would say: “Let’s distort what he said about love and forgiveness and service to fit what we want to hear! He had hinted that he could be the Messiah, after all, and as far as we are concerned a Messiah must do what we think he should!”
To some extent we are all guilty of this. We find the bits in the gospels which fit the model we like. For example, we may like the idea of Jesus being a nice kindly shepherd for us, but we’re not so keen on Jesus overturning the tables of the money-changers and stall holders, or dying on the Cross, or telling us how to live our lives.
We might turn a bit nasty as things don’t work out for us. Our cheers on Palm Sunday could turn to jeers on Good Friday. Let’s get rid of this guy! He’s not fitting our expectations, is he? Crucifixion will fit our purposes nicely.
So... this holy week we could try to align our lives with the life of Jesus, rather than what we personally might like. And if we are challenged in our thinking we could try not to jeer, not to do the Good Friday thing on Jesus, but rather be wowed and awed by God’s love for us revealed on the Cross.