This is a story we have heard so many times before. Many of us grew up hearing it. Year after year, we follow Jesus on a Lenten journey to Jerusalem. And every year it leads us here, to the threshold of Holy Week. We read the story of his triumphant entry into the city, and we read again how the crowd’s shouts of “hosanna in the highest!” quickly turn into chants of “crucify, crucify him!” We follow Jesus all the way from a stable in Bethlehem to the cross and to the empty tomb.
This story is so well known and so familiar to the church that it’s hard to add much to it. Some friends of mine even asked me a couple of weeks ago: how do you preach on stories that people have heard so many times? How do you find something new to say? And I told them honestly: the Spirit works! But also, I can’t help but think of how many thousands of years we have been telling ourselves and our children these stories. Humanity has a long term relationship with the story of salvation in Jesus Christ. And so, as old as this story is, it somehow keeps being new. Each year that we tell it again, it seems to speak to us in a new and different way.