Summary: a childs view of the triumphal entry.
My name is Arial, I am 11 years old and I live with my parents on the Mediterranean coast in the city of Tyre. Each year, during Passover week, my family and our whole synagogue would make the trip to Jerusalem. Now if you ask my parents why they go, they will tell you it is a time to remember the Passover, the time when God rescued our people from slavery in Egypt. But what makes the trip so special for me, is all the fun we kids have. For a whole week, no school, no chores, we just eat, play and have one big party.
It is a long trip to Jersualem, about 60 miles, but this is fun as well. We sing songs from the psalms as we march to the city. We get tired at times, but we never let that get us down, because we were having so much fun on the way.
We look forward to that trip every year, but last year was a Passover I will never forget. When we arrived in Jeruslaem that Sunday afternoon, we heard that there was a parade coming to town. Parades usually mean a very important person is coming to town a king or prince, someone like that. The people would go out on the streets to welcome that person as the special guests arrive. Who is coming, I asked a young girl, Jesus of Nazareth she told me.
Jesus, we heard about him all the way up to Tyre. Jesus,the teacher, the healer the miracle worker. People in our synagogue would talk about him after services. Even though no one had met him, they all had an opinion about him. Some said he was a wonderful teacher, some thought him a fake, and even some claimed he was God’s own son.
Now, I would get to see this one who everyone was talking about. As we lined the streets, we were given palm leaves to wave as Jesus came by. Palm leaves were used for kings. Was this Jesus a king as well? Where was his kingdom? These were the questions I asked as I waited for him to arrive.
While I was thinking about all that, we could hear the noise down the street. Jesus and his friends were coming. We began waving our palm leaves and shouting all together, “Blessed is he, who comes in the name of the Lord”
Finally, they approached us and here is the most unbelievable thing. When Jesus got closeto where I was standing in the crowd, he pulled the reigns on the donkey and stopped. He stopped and turned and looked directly at me. With all the crowds around, he stared only at me, I could hardly catch my breath. Then after a few seconds, which felt like a hour or more, he gave me the biggest grin, you know an ear to ear grin and then the most unbelievable thing happened, he opened his mouth and said, Hi, Ariel. Why me and how did he know my name? There was just something about that smile. Like we had been best friends all our lives.
For the rest of the Passover, I followed him. I forgot about playing with my friends and watched him teach the people. Watched him heal the sick, watched him defend himself from people who didn’t understand. Jesus made some people angry, I don’t know why, but they were so angry at him, they wanted to have him arrested and killed. They accused him of not telling the truth about God and other things I know were not true. In the end they succeeded, and on that Friday, they lifted Jesus up on a wooden cross between two thieves and they killed him. I saw what happened with my own eyes, mom and dad, told me not to go, that is was dangerous, but I had to see for myself.
The rest of the Passover was a sad time for me. I didn’t feel like playing with my friends. I went to the temple to worship God, but heart was empty. Early Sunday morning, my parents and people from Tyre, got up early and started back to home. That was the longest 60 miles I ever traveled. I couldn’t forget about this Jesus who smiled and greeted me on Sunday and was killed on Friday. But a few days after we returned, a buzz started around town. Someone had come from Galillee and said, that the tomb where Jesus was buried was empty and that this same Jesus was reported fishing with his disciples in Galilee. This is too wonderful to be true, could this Jesus who died, be alive. Could Jesus have risen from the dead. Could all this be? I must find out more about this, come back next Sunday and I will have more information.