The week begins with a protest march.
I’ve been present for large protest marches, and they are really something to be a part of. I recall being a legal observer for a march that was on ASU’s campus (I believe around the debate that was held there during the 2004 presidential race.) At one point the chant “This is what democracy looks like” was echoing off the campus buildings as the crowd was moving at quite a clip. There was a collective enthusiasm that infected me.
Surely to be with Jesus courageously pushing into the heart of the establishment must have been thrilling. Here’s the way I think of it. Link
A couple of nuggets from Borg: Why was Jesus on a donkey? Mark makes it clear that it was on purpose. Mathew takes the next step and quotes Zechariah 9:9-10, Borg points out that this is not an act predicted by Zechariah that serves as mystical evidence the Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Rather this is a very intentional prophetic act by Jesus, which reminds his audience of the story in the Jewish tradition of a humble king setting them free. Jesus’ act is challenging the establishment, and his reference to the Zechariah scripture through his actions is not accidental.
The second bit that I find fascinating is what Borg says Rome would have been doing. “On or about the same day, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate rode into the city from the opposite side, the west, at the head of a very different kind of procession: imperial cavalry and foot soldiers arriving to reinforce the garrison on the Temple Mount.” I love this contrast.
The stage is set. The Religious establishment is simultaneously oppressed and reinforced by Rome as the humble country preacher enters the city with motley crew of hillbillies, whores, and outsiders.