29th March 2023

The Power of Love

“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”

William Gladstone

The truth of this statement can be seen most vividly in the life of Jesus and never more so than in the story of Palm Sunday.

The story, in all four Gospels, tells of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey at the beginning of the last week in his earthly life.

He has a crowd of followers who shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David” and wave palm branches in the air. Historians and scholars tell us that this procession of Jesus was in stark contrast to another procession entering from the other side of the city.

Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, was marching into the city on a horse with his army to stop any trouble from happening in Jerusalem at the time of the Jewish Passover festival. The people following both processions are fuelled by a love of power.

The Jews are frustrated and angry living under the Roman occupation and are hoping that Jesus will save them from this. Pilate’s troops are following him as a visual sign of military power, reminding the Jews who is in control and warning them not to allow their Passover festival to get out of hand.

But Jesus’ mission was an example to the world of the power of love over the love of power. He enters Jerusalem on a humble donkey in contrast to Pilate’s war horse.

As we approach Palm Sunday, and hear the followers of Jesus shouting “Hosanna” which literally means “please save us”, let us not be tempted to return to our love of power that will lead us to be part of the crowd that shouts “crucify him” by Friday. Let our cry of “Save us” not mean “save me at the expense of others.” Instead, let us open our eyes to the power of God’s saving love for us – the power of love that can heal humanity and the power of love that enables humanity to heal the world.

Sam King