Happy Easter! You will get this issue of The New Age either before or after Easter and I hope that your own religious and personal celebrations of this important event go well and feel meaningful.
I am writing this between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, finding myself thinking about and absorbing this last week of Jesus’ life. It has come up in our church discussions too, and I’ve been intrigued by some of the ideas that people have shared. I will share some of these with you.
Palm Sunday is seen as the first day of the final week. Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem by many people who hailed him ‘King’ and shouted ‘Hosanna’. Were these excited people the normal crowds flocking the city or were they only Jesus’ committed followers, but many more than the twelve disciples? If it was the common crowd, how on earth did they know when to gather and cheer and shout as Jesus rode in?
If it was the group of Jesus’ own followers arranging the shouting, then we can’t easily blame the crowds of people in Jerusalem for what they did on Good Friday (as we usually do). So did his own followers turn against Jesus when it came to the choice of releasing Barabbas or Jesus?
Jesus, through Easter week, seems to be expecting everything that happened. He even seems to be triggering things that will rile the authorities and lead to his arrest and death. After coming into Jerusalem, he wents into the Temple and overturned the tables of the traders.
Was it that Jesus needed everything to happen like it did… needed it, not just thought it probably would? Did Jesus actually bring on his own crucifixion as his destiny, in order to see the process through to completion? If so, then what about his prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, when he prayed to have it taken away from him?
Rather than begin to answer any of this, I’ll leave it with you to think through as part of your own connection with Easter.