Today is Palm Sunday. One of the most important events in the new testament, marks the entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem on the back of a donkey greeted by a huge crowd who greeted him with Palm Leaves. Palm Sunday serves Christians an important lesson.
Jesus after the entry to the city went to the Great Temple where he saw that Money Exchangers in collusion with the Temple Authorities were fleecing poor people. Basically Temple Authorities mandated a few customs that were designed to extract maximum money from the devotees.
The Cleansing of the temple by Jesus is described in all the 4 Gospels. Jesus kicked out the money changers saying “My Temple will be called a house of prayers. But you are making it a hideout for thieves!” this angered the religious elite and temple authorities immensely.
When Jesus came into the city the crowd that greeted him and saw him as a savior was the poor, lowest segments of the Palestinian Society of that era. The Roman Peace at that time wasn’t really a peace but an oppression of the poor to enrich a small sect of the elite.
Jesus sought 2 give equal or more respect to poor, refferences to this fact are strewn throughout the Gospels. Influential Religious Sects like Pharisees came in conflict with John the Baptist & Jesus Christ. Jesus blasted them for their reggressiveness and Hypocrisy.
The chain of events starting from the entry to Jerusalem culminated with Jesus’s arrest and trial by the Senhedrin. Senhedrin is a religious-judicial body and the trial was overseen by a group of high Priests of the temple. They finally managed to convict Jesus of Blasphemy!
Other charges also included breaking of religious customs though they made no sense at all like forbidding healing of sick person on Sabbath. Jesus was a revolutionary and challenged the system. He stood up against the injustice and didn’t hesitate to call out the wrongs.
For Christians this path that needs to be followed as well. We have to stand-up against the wrong that we see are being done, actively challenged the system and not be comfortable in the statusquo. Jesus did this, Jesus Christ was crucified for doing this.
Absolutely no shame in being an activist as we can see even Christ was like this, his life is an example for rest of us to emulate. Jesus also challenged the religious dictates and advocated for reforms.
One of the biggest reason for Christianity to become what it is today (and split into 100s of denominations) is the spirit of reforms with focus on humanity introduced by Jesus.
Meanwhile Pope Francis said in his homily for the Palm Sunday mass that it was important to resist the temptations of triumphalism and remain humble.