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Today is Palm Sunday, and in churches all over the world, talk of a parade was paramount.

Recorded in all four of the New Testament gospels, is the event of Jesus riding on a donkey, as he entered the city of Jerusalem (the City of Peace … ironic don’t you think, that a City, so very mired, today, in conflict was named a city of peace? … but, I digress).

Some in the crowd laid down their cloaks for his donkey to walk on (maybe this was the first red carpet event in history?), some in the crowd waved palm branches as he went by, and many called out, “Hosanna (meaning ‘save now’) to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)

This all happened as the festival of Passover was beginning. Exodus 12 tells the story of the original Passover (Passover). The Israelites had been enslaved by Egypt, for many generations. God instructed Moses to have His people slaughter lambs, and cover their door frames with the blood. Then, in the night, the firstborn of every family would be killed, except for the households whose door frames are covered in the lambs blood, because the destroyer would ‘pass over’ those homes (this was the final of the ten plagues used to convince Pharaoh to let the people go). 

Moses did as God asked, the Israelites obeyed, and the Passover story came to be. Even in the home of Pharaoh, the firstborn of every Egyptian household was slaughtered. But the people in the homes that were covered by the blood of the lamb, were spared, and Pharaoh set the Israelites free.

Later this week, on Good Friday, in churches all over the world, talk of a parade will be, again, paramount. Again there were crowds of people. Again there was shouting. This time, there was no “Hosanna”, there was no ‘save now’, being sung out. Instead the shouts were “crucify him.” This time it was all a parody, all a mockery of the earlier parade.

Each of the gospels mentions his walk to Golgotha (the place of the skulls), where Jesus was nailed to the cross that he and Simone of Cyrene carried there. That walk, that parade, was after being wrongly tried, convicted, flogged, and had a crown of thrones pushed onto (into) his head.

This parade was the parade of the lamb of God (the Son of God) to the slaughter. And his blood, shed for all of humanity, is what sets us free.

“And when your children ask you,
‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’
then tell them,
‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD,
who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt
and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'”
Exodus 12:26-27

Watch the Lamb

 

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