He arrived riding on a donkey. Yesterday was Palm Sunday when Christians remember Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey. People cheered and welcomed him with joy, waving branches and palms, singing and shouting to acclaim him as the Messiah. Shortly after this, the people of the same city were calling for his death.
Many Jews were expecting the Messiah to bring political change, perhaps even in a militaristic way. This was not the way of Jesus. He spoke of a revolution of the heart, a kingdom not won with weapons and soldiers but whose foundation and method is love. The world looks to those with power and money to bring change, but the message of Jesus was (and still is) that it’s all about loving God and each other. Change needs to happen in the heart of every person and that’s the message Jesus brought to the world.
‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.’
Next week we remember the death of Jesus, a death which meant we could have life, in all its fulness and forevermore.