Freedom Is Coming

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Jewish people were about to celebrate Passover—for Jews, the holiest day of the year. Passover is a festival that recalls the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. Under Moses’ leadership, God freed the people from Pharaoh’s harsh rule, brought them safely across the Red Sea, and—after a bit of a detour in the wilderness—led the people into the Promised Land.

It is no accident that Jesus timed his entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to coincide with the people’s celebration of Passover. Jesus saw how his people experienced a form of slavery and oppression under the harsh rule of the Roman Empire and the corrupt religious leaders they had appointed to lead the Jewish community. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, he embodied the spirit of Passover, determined to bring about his people’s liberation.

Perhaps the metaphor of slavery and liberation resonates more clearly for us this Holy Week than in years past. Many of us feel “enslaved” by this virus—forced to stay in our homes, watching from a distance as loved ones struggle with a brutal and unforgiving illness, suffering under economic realities not of our own making, having relinquished any semblance of control over our health, finances, and even our own movements.

It appeared that Jesus’ efforts to liberate his people ended when he died on the cross. The people’s hopes were dashed. But an empty tomb three days later changed the story forever. Slavery, oppression, even death will not have the final word. Resurrection turns the world upside down. As we journey with Jesus to the cross and wait for good news at the tomb on Easter morning, we muster all our courage and trust in the promise that freedom is coming.

The featured image for this post is from Pisit Heng on Unsplash.

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