Palm Sunday: Man of Sorrows

I meant to write a post about Palm Sunday on Palm Sunday but then time slipped away from me. Then I was going to write about something yesterday, but time did that sneaky little thing all over again. But now, finally, I can write my Palm Sunday post. This post is about my umbrella.

Yesterday, it was raining. As I walked back home from class, I pulled out my huge, orange and black, Princeton umbrella to brave the drizzle. Since my umbrella is so big, it tends to catch more wind than a smaller umbrella might which means I have to constantly be wary of the wind, its direction and its force. Wind can really screw an umbrella up.

As the rain picked up, the wind did also. Of course, this wasn’t good. My only options were to close the umbrella and have rain fall all over me or keep fighting against the wind. I chose the latter. Eventually, my umbrella gave up the fight. It was funny, because it got turned completely inside-out. Now, instead of an umbrella, it was a bowl for catching water.

Of course, I didn’t use it that way. I tried to close it, even though it was completely inside-out. I was unsuccessful. Then, something amazing happened. A strong gust of wind turned the umbrella right-side up. It was amazing. In that moment, my umbrella was my best friend.

I walked with my newly trusty umbrella for about 20 paces until the wind picked up again. This time, instead of trying to wrestle with the wind, I decided to close the umbrella. Moreover, because the weather (and God) has hilarious timing, the rain turned from a drizzle to a downpour. But my umbrella couldn’t help. It couldn’t stand up against the wind. I was disappointed in my new best friend.

As I walked the last block and a half to my apartment, I thought about Jesus and Palm Sunday. Jesus started off with a huge umbrella of supporters, people who welcomed him as the Son of David and the Savior. But soon, the wind blew hard and the supporters were gone leaving him to walk home in the rain alone.

It sucks to get drenched on the way home from class but it sucks infinitely more to take the trip to your death. I think sometimes, I just figured, since Jesus knew he had to do it, he wasn’t really upset or surprised or disappointed or sad. But as I get older, I’m starting to think otherwise. Jesus was fully God. He was also fully man. And he felt the things men feel. Just because you know the ending, doesn’t make the process any less emotional. I wonder what it must have been like to feel that. To know the betrayal was coming but still have to endure it.

It’s not a feeling any song can fully describe. It’s just something you have to sit with, contemplate.

Isaiah 53

Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men;

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away;

and as for his generation, who considered

that he was cut off out of the land of the living,

stricken for the transgression of my people?

And they made his grave with the wicked

and with a rich man in his death,

although he had done no violence,

and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10  Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;

he has put him to grief;

when his soul makes an offering for guilt,

he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11  Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,

and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,

because he poured out his soul to death

and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many,

and makes intercession for the transgressors.

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