Vicar's Letter

Reflections on Holy Week 

It must have been a dramatic sight on Palm Sunday when Jesus approached Jerusalem to the adulation of the crowds. ‘A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’’’ (Matthew 21:8,9). 

But not everyone in Jerusalem welcomed Jesus; in the very next verse we read, ‘the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”’ (10). 

But by the end of the week, the crowds had turned against Jesus and were demanding His crucifixion. (Matthew 27:22). 

Why did they turn against Jesus so quickly? Perhaps they were disappointed because He refused to fulfil their expectations in establishing a new political kingdom. 

Instead, He came to change our hearts and save us from our sins by His death and resurrection. As He said during that week, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ (John 18:36). This deeply disappointed those who hoped that He would throw out the hated Roman occupiers. 

Where would we have been on that first Palm Sunday? Among the disciples who welcomed Him or among the sceptical crowds? It’s easy to judge those who condemned Jesus, but would we have acted differently? Can we too be disappointed when Jesus fails to meet our hopes and expectations of Him? 

The message of Easter is that God still loves and accepts us, and because of Jesus we can be forgiven. He came for one simple reason: ‘For Christ also suffered once for sins…to bring you to God.’ (1 Peter 3:18). 

May we welcome Jesus afresh into our lives this Eastertime.