History provides a litany of invasions where armies have used their might to subjugate and oppress people. The spiritual invasion of Jerusalem during the first Palm Sunday was not a violent invasion we know from history. Jesus’ invasion of Jerusalem mocked the Roman invaders and the messianic hopes of those who believed that Jesus would restore the empire of David and Solomon. The invasion mocked the Roman leaders, who could not allow freedom of political expression. Guess what the two disciples sent by Jesus to untie the horse were thinking. They might have imagined for themselves a nobler role; thinking of sitting on the left and right of Jesus in his glory; jockeying for advantage, angling for glory, arguing who was the greatest. Imagine what is happening in the church of God today.
However, the challenge of Palm Sunday is an engagement in an unromantic form of ministry and leadership, mucking around the stable, looking suspiciously like horse thieves. The church is sent to go into the stables and untie sinners, where sufferers are silenced, and the poor and innocent are dying rather than sitting in cushioned air condition churches.
Again, another challenge of Palm Sunday is the branches cut from a tree that does not live long. The excitement of the Palm Sunday crowd soon faded, and when Good Friday rolled in, many of the same voices who shouted ‘Hosanna’ were shouting ‘Crucify Him.’ Their love for the Lord was shallow and based entirely on their hope of what exciting things Jesus could do for them. Too many pilgrims would get in behind Jesus on the road to the throne, but they would not follow him on the way to the cross. Instead, they would wave their palms before the coming King but disobey the Suffering Servant. Easter is a call to a missional and spiritual invasion rather than a recitation of old liturgies than hold no water or save a single. Easter time is when to go into the stables and city gate to right the wrongs by contending for the faith. Arise and Go.