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Ride on, King Jesus! No one can a-hinder thee!

Ride on King Jesus! No one can a-hinder thee!

Today was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy week.

For many of us – students and servants of the church alike – this begins a very busy time. I have often heard the words “once we get through holy week…” I recently told someone that the week after holy week is even worse for me. Having spent the past four days sulking in my room fighting a fever that would not break and going through enough tissues that would have killed a small forest, I have had ample opportunity to think about the week ahead.

Holy week is really the crux celebration of our faith. Our Lord was crucified, buried and risen again. Liturgical churches do this week best and invite you to participate in the week’s events in ways that touch the heart as well as the mind. I remember in one service in a rather large church, the passion story was read and then it came time for the crowds to yell “Crucify him! Crucify him!” I felt like I was there. That I was part of the story. Not in a proud way. But in a way that implicated me in the story that brought Christ to the cross.

Liturgical churches also draw out the week and make time slow down for a few days. The vestments are removed, the church is dark, there is no Eucharist. And one must sit in the Christ has died part of the story in a way that no comfort is brought by the services. Time stops or at least slows down during Holy Week.

I have often thought it interesting how the crowds could go from yelling “Hosanna” and praising Jesus to yelling “crucify him” in only a few days. And then I look at my own fickleness from the days of dancing around my apartment to the days of forgetting to pray and turn to the one who gives me life.

But today, as I reflect on the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, I am struck by the words of this traditional song sung by Steve BellRide on, King Jesus! No one can a-hinder thee! I am struck by these words because I have been studying John Stott’s Cross of Christ in which he lays out the deliberate choice that Christ made as well as the ways in which the evil one tried to thwart his plans.

I wonder what it would have felt to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and being praised by a people who were about to betray him. I wonder what it would have felt to know that nothing could a-hinder God’s plan – something that probably factored into the joyful praising of the king riding on a donkey that day. I wonder what it would have been like to ride on as King, knowing your acknowledgement of kingship would be nailed above your head in several languages for all to see in mockery that here is the one who is the so-called king of the Jews named not to honour him, but to display his crime.

And so I walk, on this Palm Sunday, singing Ride on, King Jesus! No one can a-hinder thee! As I enter this week, with an admittedly shallow understanding of those words, may I and may we together come through this week with a greater understanding of what it means for Christ to ride on to a kingship that takes him to the cross, yet that no one can a-hinder him.



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