Architect Lewis Mumford argued that the beauty of a particular house
comes from building it on the most challenging feature of the land. If
there is a depression in the land, says Mumford, use it. If a big
boulder lies in the middle of the spot where the kitchen should go, put
the boulder in the kitchen.
When I was a child, I loved Palm Sunday because we got to act out the biblical version of a ticker-tape parade. Later I learned of the ephemeral quality of stardom and parades and decided that Palm Sunday and Passion Week belong together. As a pastor, I have accepted the dismal fact that most of our people skip Thursday, Friday and Saturday, slipping from parade pandemonium to Easter ecstasy with none of the suffering and pain.
As Jesus was about to descend the Mount of Olives to enter Jerusalem, Mark reports, he dispatched two of his disciples to fetch a colt. A seemingly minor matter of transportation it would seem, but surprisingly, over half of Mark’s story of Jesus’ entry into the city is occupied with mundane details about acquiring this animal—where to go to find it, what kind of colt to seek, what to do, what to say.
Every version of the Passion story deviates fundamentally from the New Testament, which contains four divergent Gospels rather than one conflated version. The Gospels also emphasize the life before and the resurrection after the death.