PRISONERS IN THEIR OWN TOWNS. The oppressed people got swept up in the coming of the liberator. For years they had been afraid to speak their mind openly. They had been treated unfairly. They felt like prisoners in their own towns. Everywhere soldiers of their ruler could be seen – a ruthless lot ready to pounce on anyone who stepped out of line. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be.
IT IS HERE! They’d heard of promised liberation. They’d dared to hope for it, believe the stories. But it sounded too good to be true. Their longing hope was always mingled with cynicism fueled by their present oppression. The day dawned, however, when someone shouted: “Here they come!” “It’s here!” People dropped what they were doing. They cautiously peered out of the shadow of their doubts. Could it be true that liberation was finally going to be realized?
TOWN IN FRENZY. Sure enough, over the crest of the hill came the rolling parade. Folks abandoned their fears and took to the streets. Hope welled up inside them as the procession neared. And joy. This was cause for exuberance. In a sign of gratitude and honor, some put articles of clothing on the ground in front of the entourage. Some saluted. On tiptoe, some waved homemade signs and fronds plucked from nearby trees. Some raised their voices in shouts of exaltation at the liberation that was coming. The town was in frenzy.
WHAT’S THE SIGNAL? The liberating entourage came riding down Main Street. Was it a demonstration of defiance in the face of the oppressive ruler? Was it a show of force, to let the oppressors know their days were numbered and that the liberator could move about wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted? Was this the beginning of the regime’s end? The signal for a grass-roots revolution? What could this act mean? What would follow this day of liberation, this Palm Sunday?