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Happy Easter to you!

Take A Mulligan

April 21, 2019
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Christianity has a myriad of denominations and each one probably has a slightly different doctrine that separates one from the other. However there are several instances when most Christian doctrines mesh united-one being Holy Week. The final week beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating seven days later on Easter Sunday. Services may be slightly different but the end result is the same-Jesus coming into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday, hailed as the King of the Jews and then by the end of the week, on Good Friday, this same man crucified on the cross, with the inscription given by Pontius Pilate, The King of the Jews.

But what actually happened after that first day of the week when most of the Jewish population in Jerusalem that morning, were celebrating Jesus entering the city on the colt of a donkey? Cheers, cheers and more cheers, palm branches laid down to provide a path and even parts of people's outfits laid out to show their affection to this man who certainly would free the common man. A few days later, this same crowed who chanted, "Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna" now screamed, "Crucify, Crucify, Crucify." What in the world happened to change the crowd? Here's the rest of the story.....

Historically, the same day Jesus came into Jerusalem from the eastern gate of the city, a Roman leader, Pontius Pilate marched in from the western gate. Not one procession but two that morning. Two opposite mind sets, two completely processions, two entirely different men--who had never met before but that would soon change. And the meeting would change both men's lives.

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John Sheda

From the eastern gate, Jesus entered on a donkey meaning he was coming in peace. He had as his entourage his close friends both male and female and hundreds of celebrating followers of him Pilate, on the other hand coming in from the western gate rode in on horseback, meaning he means business, with his entourage of hundreds if not perhaps thousands of the vast Roman Army behind him.

Pilate had been given the order to make sure there would be no uprising or rebellion from the Jewish people during this grand holy day-Passover. Passover was the one feast that seemed to get out of hand every year due to its' inherent history--the deliverance and freedom of the Jews from another empire, years earlier, Egypt. The Roman empire from Caesar on down wanted to make sure nothing happened that could start something like this again. And Rome certainly had heard about this man called Jesus that was making quite a name for himself around the countryside of Israel.

The common Jewish resident in Jerusalem those days knew that one day, according to prophecy, their new King was coming and that certainly meant an overthrow of a government that was oppressing them all these years. That king must be Jesus and the overthrow imminent.

This would be the moment when Jesus would overthrow the Roman Empire and life would once again be like it was during the day of King David. Their cheers of "Hosanna to the son of David" confirmed their beliefs. Jesus would be the new King David.

But it was not to be and by the end of the week, this Jesus, the "would-be king" was a tragic disappointment to them. Fearing the worst, that Pontius Pilate and his army would remember who cheered for this "would-be king," their allegiance quickly changed.

They could see the handwriting on the wall as they watched Jesus standing before the very people he was supposed to overthrow, and hearing his fate of being whipped, beaten and finally sentenced to the worst punishment possible-Crucifixion of a cross. Standing along side Rome, these people now wanted, no demanded the release of a known murderer in order to ensure that this man called Jesus would be condemned to death.

They knew that once Jesus was dead, their fate would be in jeopardy too if they stayed aligned with this Jesus. Rome had a horrible history of slaughtering those who conspired against them. They wanted no part of that.

And condemned he was. But as we all know, three days later, the day we today celebrate as Resurrection of Easter Sunday, this same Jesus rose from the dead. There, as Paul Harvey used to say, "that is the rest of the story."

Happy Easter to everyone!



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