Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday: Who Are Those Cheering People? (From Nisi Dominus)

There’s something a little unsettling about Palm Sunday.  It appears that the same people who welcome Jesus as a victorious king at the beginning of the week are screaming for his death by its end.  I’ve heard a number of possible explanations. I read once (I’m sorry to say I can no longer remember where) that the supporters greeting Him with palm fronds and hosannas on Sunday may not have been the angry mob demanding his crucifixion on Friday.

Hippolyte Flandrin, Christ's Entry Into Jerusalem

     There may be some small element of truth to this theory, but I can’t help but think that there must have been a very significant overlap between the two groups.  How likely is it that the entire mass of people who were so enthusiastic just a few days earlier would simply stay away from their new king’s trial?  I find the more traditional explanation more likely, that a large portion, at least, of the first crowd had soured on the whole Jesus phenomenon over the intervening days . . . 

(Read the entire post HERE at Nisi Dominus)