If you’ve been watching the news these past months, you might have noticed the 3-finger salute used by protesters in Thailand and now in Myanmar. Adopted from ‘The Hunger Games’ the 3-finger salute, has become a sign of defiance and a call for change against authoritarian crackdowns on freedom of speech and democracy. The courage shown in the face of violence and repression is inspiring and stirring.
The crowd that welcomes Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday make their expectations clear. Like the 3-finger salute, the palm branches and cry, ‘Hosanna’ are full of political overtones and a call to revolutionary action. Harking back 200 years to Judah Maccabee who led a revolt that freed the Jewish people from their Seleucid overlords, hopes are high that Jesus will launch a revolution against the hated Roman forces and establish an independent and free Israel.
But Jesus flips their expectations upside down. The path to true freedom and righteousness doesn’t come through politics, force or violence, but through humility and sacrificial love, by a cross rather than a throne. Palm Sunday gives us a paradigm for real and lasting change; to choose peace instead of war, compassion for hate, and forgiveness for aggression. It’s the life of sacrificial love embodied by Mother Teresa, Bonhoeffer and MLK. This is the path less travelled, the long and winding road via Gethsemane, Pilates’ court, Golgotha and the empty tomb. Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Pr David Spike
Learning Leader: Formation