One summer I was driving to Martin, SD with our youth group, headed out for a mission trip. We were obligated, of course, to stop at Wall Drug, and we even drove an extra hour to make sure that they got to at least see the badlands before we headed south to Martin. But one of the things I remember most about that long drive, was driving through this one little town. I wish I could remember the name of it, but to be honest I just wasn't paying that much attention. We had been driving through one small town after another for awhile now. Except in this small town, there was a traffic jam. That's what first got my attention. We began looking around for signs of what could be wrong that 6-10 cars were stopped at the Main Street. I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary, though, no broken stoplight or an accident or even road construction of some kind. So we waited, curiously, wondering what this was all about. And after a few minutes, we got our reward. For while we were stopped on the main highway, going through town, traffic was actually stopped for what was happening on Main Street-- going perpendicular to where we were headed. An 18 year old man and an 18 year old woman were standing in a convertible, moving along Main Street through the intersection of the highway, dressed to the nines, crowned for the occasion. Another car behind them advertised the real estate agent from two towns over, and then behind that was the marching band. I hadn't heard them up to that point, perhaps just because I wasn't listening for them, but there they were, playing their hearts out in the midst of a July heat, and after them came several other cars advertising this or that. And then I began to notice that indeed I could see some people sitting on lawn chairs if I craned my neck enough to see past the cars in front of me. This was a grand occasion and we almost missed it! They passed by and I expected traffic to start up again, but everyone kept waiting, and then, five minutes later, we saw them again-- having gone around the block, they were now crossing the highway again on their way to wherever the end of the parade was going to be. By now the kids in my car had stopped whatever they were doing-- unplugging their ears from headphones-- and were watching to see if they could spot the King and Queen again. And within minutes, it was done, and traffic went on.
I imagine anyone watching the crowd and Jesus march along that day would’ve seen it much like I saw that small town parade— fun to watch, a curiosity maybe, but somewhat easy to forget. After all this was the season of Passover; hundreds of people would’ve been streaming to Jerusalem to celebrate at the temple. The only people who would’ve even noticed Jesus entering, were those who knew Jesus— who knew that the Pharisees and other religious leaders were looking for Jesus—had threatened, him, really, if he were to show up in Jerusalem.