The week that changed the world, Holy Week, began with Palm Sunday. A day when we remember the passion and death of our Lord; the crowd that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Drawing attention to the Roman authorities could only mean trouble. But there was no turning back now. Jesus was being rebuked by the Pharisees for the disciples drawing attention to themselves in this way. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I tell you if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Jesus was saying, “this is why I have come.” Many of them who yelled “Hosanna!” were most certainly in the mob that yelled “Crucify him! Crucify him!” only a few days later. This is God’s Son laying down his life to rescue a dying world. We know the crowd stopped cheering and started jeering. Are you still cheering about it?
How often for instance, do people get excited about the churches ministry to our town and communities, the homeless, hungry and helpless? How long has it been since you cheered because the church was challenging some form of injustice? How often do we cheer for the church? Have you cheered because the church is helping prodigals to return to the Father's love, the burdened, bereaved, and destitute receive new strength, comfort and hope?
We cheer sometimes about relatively insignificant things, why not about the things of real worth? Someone needs to cheer about these things.
The need of the world for Christ is so great today that someone must cheer for Him. A Rector of a Church in London and as part of a mission to vulnerable and broken people, renovated an old warehouse into a mission hostel. A famous cartoonist became interested in the work there and drew a poster, an image of a destitute man slumped against a wall, the Cross of Christ showing from round the corner, and the caption,
"There’s a green hill near by, where a carpenter still mends broken lives."
That's cheering for Christ! Someone must give voice to the recognition of his greatness and of his power to mend broken lives, to resurrect dead hopes, to set people on the right path again, to enable them to live with dignity and purpose and wholeness, and to move our world in the direction of peace and love. People need to hear this good news today. They need to be told what Christ can do, and so someone must cheer. We need to do it ourselves. Christ keeps listening for cheers which speak of commitment, of influence, and of love. Sometimes we are called to cheer loud and long and sometimes we are called to cheer with no words at all. Yet still we must cheer so that the world will believe how great and wonderful our Lord is. “How will they hear unless you cheer?” Romans 10:14
Palm Sunday is a strange day of joy and celebration and of worshipping Jesus as the King of Kings and yet of course it leads to the events of Holy Week. Yes it’s easy to sing God's praises and joyfully wave our palms and acknowledge him as Lord. It's a different matter to take up your cross and follow him and cheer with all our hearts for all he has done for us every day of our lives; but that’s the challenge cheering for Christ brings after Palm Sunday “Hosannas !” and Easter shouts of “Alleluia!” In fact the cheering should never stop. Happy Easter!