Going Out On a Limb Here (Palms)
You know, real love is risky -saying things easier left unsaid, doing things that could look foolish- with the threat of rejection, humiliation, shame waiting at your most vulnerable moment, but try to see this for the first time: God ~ going into the form of a man ~ to be intimate with you.
Wooed and dazzled by this notion, singing songs to Jesus:
The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out palm branches they had cut in the fields. Running ahead and following after, they were calling out,
"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in highest heaven!"
What a nice landing for God's leap of true love the early witness records! The overture of God himself comes not with blazing lights and angel choirs, but a humble jew riding in on a donkey:
They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered:
"Hosanna! ... Jesus got a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it: No fear, Daughter Zion: See how your king comes, riding a donkey’s colt.
But you know real love is risky -have you ever felt the floor pulled out? God's claim to be Jesus, to have a relationship with you, makes this a scene not bound by space or time, puts you in the greeting crowd. Going out on a limb, sung about on Sunday, then abandoned and left hanging, Jesus held the psalmist's words tightly:
I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust. I’m leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors, You didn’t leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe. Be kind to me, God— I’m in deep, deep trouble again. I’ve cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside. My life leaks away, groan by groan; my years fade out in sighs. My troubles have worn me out, turned my bones to powder. To my enemies I’m a monster; I’m ridiculed by the neighbors. My friends are horrified; they cross the street to avoid me. They want to blot me from memory, forget me like a corpse in a grave,
discard me like a broken dish in the trash. The street-talk gossip has me “criminally insane”! Behind locked doors they plot how to ruin me for good.
If your story is made up then love is absurd and a danger to society. But if you're holding a love letter, God's hot pursuit of intimacy with you, then this Jesus, who the Jews called Yeshua, who showed up and made letters take shape in actual presence, physical, ash-doomed, who underwent the ultimate humiliation to be with you, os resurrected in power with you right now. If this is true then Jesus had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status.... When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father, "will you go out on a limb with me?"