Today is Palm Sunday when we celebrate the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem on his way to die. We read the story in the gospel reading. It was all very carefully stage-managed, and Jesus was very carefully fulfilling several prophecies about the Messiah and in so doing, proclaiming himself messiah and forcing the hands of the Jewish authorities. God sometimes intervenes and forces the issue – not waiting for people to get around to doing what they say.
He knew that they would take the challenge, and that they would have to take action and probably kill him because he knew that they were planning to kill him anyway - remember when Lazarus died the disciples didn't want him to go to Bethany, so close to Jerusalem, because the Chief Priests and Scribes were planning to kill him then?
So why did he do it?
To "break the spell"
(tell Yellow fingers story with Sir Galahad)
We often feel as if we are under some sort of spell - listen to what St Paul says in Romans 7. Rather like being turned into a frog and every time you want to sing, a 'gribbet' comes out! In fact, these stories of evil spells are really paradigms of spirituality, and the rescue by the virtuous, innocent one is the motif for the gospel story. The princess has to kiss the frog - the worst and most humiliating thing she could have to do, but also the most loving action towards something apparently unlovable. Also Beauty and the Beast.
Essence of Fall was disobedience and a desire for power. Jesus is obedient and humble, so reverses the pattern and is able to remain without sin, and thus breach the stronghold and break the sin. He was the first one to enter Hades and be free to leave it. It is hard for us to understand the redemption process, and every parallel we use has a weakness somewhere, as does this one.
Where does that leave us?
Are you still under the evil spell of Satan, or will you step out of your castle and be free, for look, your King comes, obedient and lowly, riding upon an ass, the foal of an ass. And he has come for you. Because he loves you more than you can ever begin to imagine.
Pew leaflet: Can also be downloaded from here: