True or false? The people who worshiped Jesus by calling “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday were the same folks who shouted “Crucify” on Good Friday.
Probably false, and I don’t know if I ever said that – I hope not, but then again, I’ve said a lot of things – but either way I’ve certainly heard it said. And it didn’t quite smell right, because, after all, how would anyone really know that?
So I was glad to see this article on Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon in the recent web issue of Christianity Today. The authors write how the first statement makes for a good sermon point illustrating the fickleness of the human heart. But…they say:
“…it is not entirely clear that the ‘Hosanna!’ crowd acclaiming Jesus’ triumphal entry is the same group of people as the ‘Crucify him!’ crowd gathered before Pontius Pilate. The former seem to be mainly pilgrims from Galilee along with Jesus’s disciples, while the latter seem to be largely those from Jerusalem.”
Well, that makes sense.
So the next time I’m preaching and looking for a point on fickleness, maybe I’ll tell the congregation about David writing Psalms on a hillside and then years later writing the ruin of a man’s life from a rooftop. Or perhaps I’ll say something about Peter proclaiming his forever faithfulness to Jesus after the Last Supper and then hours later reneging with three denials before the rooster crowed. Or maybe it will be Demas standing by Paul’s side in Colossians 3:14 and then “in love with this present world” in 2 Timothy 4:10.
There are plenty of examples, not to mention the one that stares back at me in the mirror. So next time, I’ll plan to leave the “Hosanna”/”Crucify” crowd out of it. Maybe they were all perfectly stable people.
Then again, somehow, I doubt it.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28th: Mark 12