I have always wondered how much he knew.
Surely he knew he was facing his death, but the details? He is God, but He is man. I’ll keep on wondering.
Did he know the violence he would face? The extent of the beatings? The mockings? The people who would be punished alongside him? Those who would betray, deny, follow?
Did he know they would shout for his death? Did he know they would be so easily swayed? Did he know we would be so easily swayed?
I have always wondered what Jesus was thinking as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey that day.
Did he watch as people laid down their garments to prepare a way and picture his own being ripped off and pieced out – gambled over like cheap souvenirs?
As they laid down the branches, did he picture the moment he would fall down on his knees in the garden begging the Father to take this cup, wiping the blood-sweat from his brow? Did his memory draw him to the other garden – the creation and the community and the fall that led to this? Did he see, so clearly, the moment he would collapse under the weight of the cross – did he see Simon lay down a branch in the same place he would pick up Jesus’ cross just days later? As each branch was carefully laid on the ground, did Jesus picture – over and over again – his life intentionally laid down.
Branch – sacrifice. Branch – love. Branch – pain. Branch – too much. Branch – exactly enough. Branch – finished. Branch – worth it.
Did he confuse their shouts of “Praise God” with the words “Crucify Him.” Did they sound the same to him? Sweet words leading to sweet struggle resulting in new life.
And as they walked beside him, did he picture their backs to him? Or did he see so far that he saw their faces around a morning fire, eating a breakfast of freshly caught fish – sharing tenderly the new fight – feed my sheep, love well.
And, as the city asked “Who is this?” did he listen for my voice?
Did he hear me in the quiet moments I would seek to discover, “Who is this”? The one who walked that road for me. The one who met me in my darkest moments knowing I would turn my back again and again. The one who silenced the lies. The one who silenced death.
Before all of that, when he sent his disciples for the donkey and the colt – “Untie them and bring them to me.” Untie them. Untie them and bring them to me.
He was speaking of the donkey – or was he speaking of me? Was he speaking of the bondage we are all tied up in – the things that so easily sway us from shouting Praise Him to Crucify Him.
Untie them and bring them to me.
Bring them to me.
The ones who know they were made for more.
The ones who dream it could be true.
Bring them to me. I will be waiting at the empty tomb.
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:5-11 (NLT)