Redemptive Purpose

17 03 2008

The passing of another palm Sunday. The waving of the requisite palm branches. Subdued shouts of “hosanna” by the people. And just like that historic passing on the back of a donkey, we wonder and ponder til the day has passed us by and we miss it.

Yes, we miss the jackass. There’s that beast with the parturient reputation our society has beget. Somehow that regal beast jackass - donkeyof kings has become a symbol of stupidity. It would be like considering a Lexus to be the only vehicle the poverty-ridden can afford. Yet the crowd of the day looked at Christ coming into Jerusalem and proclaimed, “Sweet ride!”. On-lookers would have recognized the meaning of this mode of transport, and felt a resultant resolve of regality in their midst. This one who dared to employ the use of such a hallmark as this… this one, this Christ, is the redeemer of all. The donkey belonged to God long before it ever was of kingly nature. And yes, we could rightly say that any jackass can be redeemed.

We also miss the importance of the crowd’s proclamation much too easily. “Hosanna” was in effect a call for redemption. “Save us!” they beckoned. Theirs was a vision of earthly rule, but his was a message of spiritual fortitude. This man riding in to the surfeit adulation was to bring a much greater redemption than anyone there dared to dream. Nor do we dare.

Palm Sunday is a day of redemption. It was Christ taking the road to his great sacrifice saying, “Here I am. I’ve come for you.” In an utterly profound way, this equidaen ride into history was to be a beautiful reminder that no matter what we’ve done, no matter how corrupted we believe ourselves to be, no matter how lost we feel, we are not beyond the reach of redemption. Jesus’ purposeful ride was a redemptive ride; our purpose is redemption unbounded and it is here to be received.

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