But then rumors spread: another great man is riding in from the east, not on a war stallion or in a chariot, but on a humble donkey. Jesus, descending the Mt. of Olives into the Kidron Valley, then through the gates of the Holy City. Excitement mixed with confusion: Jesus had won quite a reputation - so would he be the one to lead the rabble in rebellion against the Romans?
After an awkward, poignant conversation with his friends, Jesus walked out of the walled city of Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives to pray in the garden called Gethsemane. Kneeling in anguish, Jesus prayed "Not my will, but Your will be done." But no slight hint of fatalism was in his heart; Jesus’ mood wasn’t resignation: he actively and courageously sought and embraced God's will, which isn't some dark luck, but is when we with trusting faith go where God leads us, no matter the cost.
In the throes of death, Jesus cried out, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" Doesn't this leave us space to cry out in the darkness when we seem forsaken by God? God did not remain safely aloof in heaven, but God entered into human suffering at its darkest. Just as Jesus stretched out his arms on the cross, so God envelops us in a love that even death could not defeat.