The Romans posted extra troops in Jerusalem at Passover, the Jewish “Independence Day,” when they remembered their liberation from Egypt. They waved palm branches every Passover (the way we wave Old Glory on July 4). Christians who celebrate Palm Sunday remember that many in Jerusalem hoped Jesus would lead a revolt against Rome. Rather than taking up arms, he took the Zechariah option. He was saying “no” to violence and “yes” to Zechariah’s call to servant leadership.
Tensions were high. The people were divided. The followers of Jesus were confused. It must have felt like a whirlwind. Events unfolded rapidly over the course of a week, called Holy Week by Christians, and still celebrated in proximity to the Jewish Passover.
This past year has felt like a whirlwind. It seems the world beckons us to respond to hate and violence with more of the same. The Zechariah option seems the road less travelled. But its witness endures.
Chul Yoo, an Asian-American pastor remembers a former parishioner who lashed out in senseless violence on March 16. Also on March 16:
A young man in Colorado bought a Ruger AR556 pistol that found its way into a grocery store on March 22, and into the annals of senselessness.
With fresh memories like these on Palm Sunday, a question presents itself: How might I choose the Zechariah option today?