Meditation for Tuesday in Holy Week

I love the view from up here.

You can’t beat it – especially on a day like this.

Jerusalem is fair shining in the sun.

I said so while we rested against the wall catching our breath.

Doesn’t Jerusalem look beautiful from up here?

‘If only it wasn’t so full of detestable people,’ said John.

Well I like it.

You could see all the pilgrims too streaming along the roads.

From up here they looked like ants scurrying along.

We’d heard that they’d got news of our arrival and were going to meet us.

Judas didn’t seem to think this was a good thing.

He seemed to permanently have a frown on his forehead these days.

I don’t know what’s the matter with him.

He seemed to think it was likely to be a demonstration, that their enthusiasm had gone to their heads.

‘If you go forward, they will welcome you in triumph as the Messiah.’

Gosh.

Do you think the moment has come?

I nudged Peter and he nudged me back.

I could feel my heart beating faster, sort of nervously if you know what I mean.

Excited and scared at the same time.

‘Master, has the moment come?’

We were all looking at him now.

All eyes on our leader.

Actually now that I look at him, really look at him, I can see for the first time that he looks awfully tired.

He doesn’t look excited at all.

Far from it, in fact.

He put his arms round Andrew and Nathanael and told them to go into the village to a certain man’s house – Zimri, by name.

He told them exactly where to go and said that they’d find an ass’s colt tied up there and they were to bring it to him here.

Well, that was very strange.

I mean, you don’t just go into someone’s yard and take their animals without a by your leave.

And I could see that Andrew wasn’t particularly keen either for he hesitated.

‘If anyone asks what you want with the colt,’ Jesus said, ‘say only ‘the Master has need of him’ and he will immediately let him go.’

So!  what do you think of that?

Peter nudged me hard in the ribs and I caught his eye.

I mean in one way this is good news, but is it wise?

Judas clearly didn’t think so.

‘Way too risky’, he said.

‘What are you doing, Jesus?’

‘It is not a risk,’ he said. ‘It is a certainty; for the prophecies must be fulfilled…’

Now, what on earth do you think he meant by that?

This was getting weirder by the moment.

Philip was getting really annoying at this point.

He was so excited he was like a little kid.

Something was in the air but nobody was really sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

Philip looked like he was sure it was going to be good.

Judas didn’t.

He looked like a man whose dreams have been haunted.

No, he didn’t look well at all.

But you know, I’m thinking well he’s got lots of friends among the people.

They love him.

His enemies will have to give way.

And Peter quite rightly pointed out that if they laid hands on him during the Festival there’d be a riot for sure.

And someone muttered that this was why he’d chosen this time to do it.

Judas’ face was a picture.

‘Oh, it has all been arranged,’ he said.  ‘You may be sure of that.’

Well! What did he meant by that?

Does he know something we don’t?

I looked over to Jesus to see what he was making of all this and couldn’t believe my eyes.

He was weeping!

He didn’t seem to be listening to us at all but was looking out over Jerusalem and the tears were just streaming down his face.

It fair took my breath away, I can tell you.

To see him crying like that.

So vulnerable.

I could feel a lump coming into my throat too.

But it was John who asked the question – why do you weep?

‘For my people and my country,’ he said, ‘and for Jerusalem…’

He looked as if he had all the troubles of the world on his shoulders.

Oh my word, I wish someone would tell me what’s going on.

For he was shouting now, shouting about enemies pressing in from every side.

About destruction – destruction of the city, I think he was prophesying.

‘Jerusalem! Jerusalem! you that kill the prophets and stone the messengers of God, how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings!   But you would not let me.’

And so he went on.

I don’t mind telling you, I felt distinctly uneasy.

There is something not quite right about all of this.

All this talk of killing and stoning.

I didn’t sign up for this, you know.

And Judas is not happy either – you can tell that just be looking at him.

His face is thunder.

And even Philip doesn’t look quite so enthusiastic now.

But just then Andrew and Nathanael arrive with the colt and news of a great crowd at the bottom of the hill.

‘A welcome awaits you!’ Andrew said with a flourish.

Nate said they were tearing down palm branches and spreading their cloaks out on the ground.

We could hear the shouting from up here.

Mothers have brought their children, said Andrew.

Come on, Jesus, time to get on this mule.

I was the one who noticed there was no saddle.

So I put my coat on it for him to sit on.

And then Andrew put his on, and Peter and John…

The mule didn’t look too happy  and started to twist round and looked like he was going to flick the coats off his back.

I don’t think he’d ever been ridden, you know.

His eyes were staring – well bulging actually with fear.

His ears were down too which is not a good sign.

Well not if you were planning on riding him.

But Jesus stood beside him and whispered in his ear.

‘Shhh shhh shhh, come now little colt. Don’t you know me?

You too are a child of my Father’s house.  Yes you are.  Sshhh shhh… there now, you’re good as gold.’

Well! I’ve never seen that before.

That stubborn mule was standing there as good as gold.

And when I put my hands out to give Jesus a leg up that little mule didn’t flinch one bit.

You should be a proud mule today!

You are carrying a Messiah!

(click) Ride on!  Ride on!

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