On Palm Sunday, I was there, ready to welcome you into your city. I was part of the crowd which pressed in on you on all sides. Cries of “Hosannah, Hosannah”, filled the air in a frenzied chorus. You had finally come! The Messiah was now here, Rome would be vanquished and Jerusalem would be set free.
As I laid down my cloak on your path entwined with others into an ancient-day red carpet, a dark shadow came over me—a strange premonition as if a voice was speaking:
How many times have you misunderstood me?
How many prayers and hopes have you pinned to a messiah of your own choosing?
How many times have you tried to fit me to the messiah of your own dimension?”
The shadow evaporated as quickly as it had appeared. I watched you press your heels into the soft underbelly of your mount. Down the hill you went, around a sharp corner and you abruptly stopped. Spreading out before you stood Jerusalem in all her splendor. The gilded edges of the mammoth temple glistened in the sunshine.
I watched you closely. A single large tear spilled over the edge of your eye, rolled down your cheek only to be buried in your beard. It was as if your throat closed in a choke hold and I strained to hear your words: “If you, Jerusalem, if you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace.”
Just as before, a dark shadow passed over as if speaking to me:
In what ways have you not recognized the things that make for peace?
I shuddered in response. There were too many ways. Right then, I knew what I would do. I would follow Jesus in these coming days.
I would not betray him.
I would not deny him.
I would welcome all that he could teach me about the things that make for peace.
Will I see you on the road?
Will you be with Jesus?