Most of the depictions of Jesus that we see are the warm, soft, comfortable, safe Jesus. Jesus holding a little lamb. Jesus knocking at a door. Jesus reaching out a hand. Jesus laughing. Jesus looking off to the side of the frame. Jesus with arms out and extended. And all of those are legit images of Jesus. I haven’t seen too many images of the Jesus of Matthew 21. Yes we have Jesus entering Jerusalem to the shouts of the crowd. Many of the shouts of Hosanna (which today we just think of as a shout of praise) are literally them saying, “Save us!” or “Rescue us!” Not quite the cheers we often think of. Then you get Jesus cleansing the temple, cursing a fig tree, telling parables of wicked tenants (a not so veiled reference to his critics) and pushing back strongly when his authority to teach was questioned. This is a very different Jesus. This is the Jesus who is saying that something new and different and radical is necessary.
I was driving as I prayed about what could visually speak to this and as I ran over one of the many bumps along our main drag it became clear. It was the road. You see, our main road through town is basically getting gutted. It is slowly being completely re-done. Not just paved over but dug down to the base before being built back up. It is still the same road but it is going to be new. It isn’t easy right now (our suspension has probably lost a year of its life because of the roadwork) but it will be worth it in the end.