Continuing a long-standing Easter Week tradition in this space.
I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
I wish I could have witnessed the events of a week that changed the world forever.
I wish I could have accompanied Jesus into the city as he rode astride a donkey and watched the crowds throw their cloaks before him, cheering the man they thought had come to lift the yoke of Roman oppression from their necks. The Messiah. The new David. I wonder if I would have gotten caught up in all the excitement and hoped that when he took over Israel, Jesus would give me a high-level job in his administration.
I wish I could have asked him first-hand why he was riding a donkey. It was a well-known fact that conquering kings ride stallions, not donkeys. I suspect Jesus would have smiled patiently and said he was not the Prince of War. He was the Prince of Peace.
I wish I could have been there when Jesus overturned the tables in the temple and ran off the usurious moneychangers along with the livestock and doves they were selling to the masses for a big profit. He called the place a “den of thieves” and actually took a whip after them. It wasn’t the first time a religious institution forgot who they were there to serve and, sadly, it won’t be the last.
I wish I could have told Jesus that his rare display of temper had played right into the hands of the local power structure threatened by his popularity among the people. I would have reminded him that they wanted to get rid of him anyway and were just looking for an excuse and that he had given them a big one. I suspect he already knew that.
I wish I could have seen the look on the faces of the religious leaders when they tried to engage him in debate and realized quickly that they were badly out of their league. I would have laughed and clapped and hooted at them until I saw the look of disapproval on the face of Christ. This wasn’t a game to him.
I wish I had been there to keep an eye on Judas Iscariot. He probably thought that the way Jesus was acting, we were all going to get in trouble and he wanted no part of it. Had I been there, I would have told him to get with the program and quit whining. It likely would have done no good. He was pure evil.
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