A man on a donkey
The opening two verses of Psalm 118 are like the waving palm leaves that Christians use to remember Palm Sunday. God’s steadfast love endures forever (Ps 118 :1). Neither life nor death, nor the fickleness of human allegiances nor the mocking of the crowd can separate us from that love, a love that is eternally part of the fabric of the universe. That love is at the heart of the Easter journey.

The palms and cloaks are scattered on the ground as Jesus enters Jerusalem. Often this is portrayed as a triumphant entry into the city. More likely, given the extreme sensitivity of the Romans to social unrest or protest at Passover time, it was a piece of street theatre that was over very quickly. Certainly over before the Romans could step in and stop it. But Jesus has made his statement. He has been preaching, teaching and healing largely in and around the Galilee. Now he brings his message to the city. He will be noticed. There will be consequences. So, while we may hear the cries of the people and the enthusiasm for the donkey rider we know that he has taken a heart-rending step towards the abyss.

Andrew Glenn