My last two faith reflections for PJ Media were on subjects at the very center of the Christian faith: Jesus’ glory as recognized by men (and by inanimate objects) on Palm Sunday, and His truly stupendous resurrection on Easter.
For the first, read here. Here’s an excerpt:
In many ways, I love Palm Sunday, because I love the report of how the people recognized and celebrated their Savior before certain evil leaders (later that week) turned the rabble against Him. Yet one part of the Palm Sunday story always has bothered me: Jesus’ boast (how else can it be characterized?) to the Pharisees that even if the crowd stopped cheering Him, “the stones would shout out” in His praise.
Why did He say this? Why was it necessary? What was the point? Here Jesus has stage-managed His own entrance into Jerusalem for the greatest possible effect. With a bit of bravado that might seem unbecoming if we did not understand that the celebrated entrance would draw helpful attention to His necessary message, He has already been successful at shaking up the Pharisees and some of their corrupt leaders. But why rub it in? Here we have a Christ whose whole prior ministry was one of humbling Himself, yet who in this instance seems to self-indulgently revel in His own glory.
The boast seems out of character….
And here’s my Easter column. As you read it — How Jesus Christ Superstar helps us appreciate Easter — rejoice. Here’s an excerpt:
That’s what Superstar emphasizes: The humanness of Jesus, the way that He appeared as one of us even to those of his closest followers. They recognized Him as something more, and yet because He had human shape and because they knew Him as a man, they still had trouble wrapping their minds around the idea of Jesus as God.
If we put ourselves in that position of having trouble believing our spirits rather than our eyes, that’s when the miracle of Easter has its greatest effect on us. We who know the risen Lord sometimes take his risen-ness for granted – but if we put ourselves in the position of those who thought all their dreams had died on Good Friday, then Easter’s glory can really, truly change us in the same way a confused Mary Magdalene sings about being changed not just in little ways, but indeed into “someone else.” And not just someone else, but someone better.
The Apostles surely were changed.