10 March 2008

Bible portraits: Palm Sunday (Part 1)

It will forever be etched in my memory, that day when we entered Jerusalem for the last time. The heat of the spring sun beat down upon us as we made our way up and down the slopes along the steep, winding road to Jerusalem. As we approached the great city a sense of anticipation, of exhilaration, surged through our veins.

Looking back on it all, I cannot put my finger now on what we were really expecting. The days past had certainly had their excitements. There had been the blind man just outside Jericho. How will I ever forget his pathetic cry, just barely audible over the stir of the crowd? “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Some folk tried to shut him up, but he refused to pay any attention to their threats. He just cried all the louder, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

I knew what the Lord would do all along. He never was one to pass by a person in need. When he heard the man’s voice he stopped dead in his tracks, and all the crowd with him. “Bring him over here,” he said to us. And so we went over and helped the man to his feet. We could hear his knees crack as they straightened out. With his bony hand he grasped onto my arm and haltingly we half-walked, half-stumbled our way over to where the Lord was. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked, as he looked deep into the man’s lifeless and impenetrable eyes.

“Lord, that I may receive my sight…”

“Receive your sight,” he said to him in a manner that seemed so matter-of-fact, as though it were nothing unusual. “Your faith has healed you.” Even as the words were still on his lips I could see the opaque dullness of the man’s eyes melt into a sparkle. The look of absolute wonderment spreading across his face was enough to tell us all that a miracle had happened.

The next moment we were all praising God for what had happened to the blind man (or I should say, the man who had up till that time been blind). He himself couldn’t stop jumping up and down and coming up to each of us and staring for a moment or two into our faces as though he had lost hold of his senses.

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