And entering the ring… I mean, Jerusalem!
Growing up I loved wrestling and tonight is the biggest night in the WWE calendar – Wrestlemania. Does anyone here like wrestling?
I was thinking about Wrestlemania as well as what we call The Triumphal Entry (Matt. 21:1-11) and as I was thinking I thought there are some parallels between the when a wrestler enters the ring and when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
So let’s watch a video – it’s of my favourite wrestler The Rock, who is wrestling tonight at Wrestlemania, entering a match up a few years ago.
Now there are some ways I think this is a bit similar to what we are remembering about Jesus this morning – though it’s a bit funny and weird.
Wrestling: Lights and smoke – someone has just entered the room, a scene has been made.
Jesus: Donkey and a colt, connects back to the OT where we’re told this is how a king will enter Jerusalem – a scene has been made.
Wrestling: There’s a song, music that tells you something about the wrestler and what they are about to do.
Jesus: arrives, people are singing – ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’. This king has arrived and people expect something to happen.
Posters + people
Wrestling: ‘Can’t stop The Rock’ that’s one sign we could read as The Rock entered the ring.
There’s more and there are t shirts and they all allow people to say what they think about the person.
Jesus: enters Jerusalem and people throw down coats (royalty) and get fronds (signalling an expected triumph) and throw them down because they think Jesus is a king who will help them out – they think highly of him.
Into the ring
A bit like when a wrestler enters the ring, the ring announcer shouts “And entering the ring at 285 pounds, The Rock!”
We have the same sort of thing about Jesus “And entering the ring… well no, Jerusalem… Jesus!”
This makes some sense with the next week because Jesus ends up ‘wrestling’ with Sadducees and Pharisees and people who represent King Herod, in debate and in making a scene at the Temple, because Jesus has laid down a challenge to lots of powerful people by entering Jerusalem the way he has, as a king. In doing it he has challenged the way these people run the country – their way (that has led to oppression, segregation, anger and violence etc.) versus the kingdom way (of justice, peace, care, wholeness).
The Triumphal Entry signals a match up that leads us up to next weekend with Jesus in a pin – 1, 2, 3… kick out!
J.R. would be loving it.
[This was my children’s address in church this morning – with some slight edits. One qualification – the parallels if pushed much further breakdown; but I like it all the same.]