HANG IN THERE - THE BEST IS YET TO COME
Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (A)
Scriptural Readings: Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66 or 27:11-54
My dear encountered couples:
It seems like we’re doing this backwards. We first were asked to experience a symbolic experience of our entrance with Christ into heaven. Now we are made to feel the agonizing experience of his passion and death. Why does the Church do these things to us? Why can’t we just be left in a happy mood, with pleasant feelings? Before us now lies a week of sadness, sorrow, and suffering before we will be able to experience any happy, Easter-like joys.
That seems to be the way of life, doesn’t it? At least life on this earth. Something good happens, and before long it goes sour. The sun shines and we hear somebody say, “Enjoy it while you can. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow.” Why can’t we be left feeling good? Why can’t we just ignore and forget about all the unpleasant in our lives? We know the answer to that. It’s too real and too personal not to notice. Sadness, sorrow, and suffering were a part of Christ’s life; it’s a part of ours.
But the Palm Sunday entrance into the heavenly Jerusalem, the wonderful experiences we have when the sun shines in our lives, they are for a purpose. They are to remind us that God has wonders waiting for us. On the other side of any suffering we experience in this life is total contentment, perfect health, and the ultimate in joy. We are given tastes and imaginings of good things now, so that we can have the strength to endure the bad.
Jesus entered gloriously into Jerusalem the Sunday before his passion began so that his followers would be able to get through that week with him - so they could enter heaven with him later on. He didn’t want them to give up on him, to lose faith in him, before not only the good but the best things would begin to happen. He wanted them to hang in there with him all the way through the darkness of the unpleasant and the terrible, so they could come out on the other side with him and bask in the unending sunshine of heaven’s happiness.
And he doesn’t want us to give up on him before we come to the end of our journey here on earth. He wants us to hang in there with him every day of our lives no matter what comes our way. The good that we imagine and experience is to be a sample of what is ahead, if only we trust Christ and stay with him. All the forces of hell tried to do Christ in, but they failed. They looked like they accomplished their purpose, but he rose up and accomplished his Father’s. Heaven is victorious over anything that tries to stop it. Your experiencing in your imagination your glorious entrance into the heavenly Jerusalem with Christ as on that first Palm Sunday is to help you arrive at the real heaven, where Christ wants to take you by the hand and escort you in.
When your life seems like the passion of Christ, remember: You are meant for much better. And you shall have it! The love of God is yours now. All that comes with it will assuredly be yours too, and soon! Walk with Jesus Christ through all that life holds in store for you. Walk with him all the way into paradise.