On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain

Our two year old grandson Oscar has found a new friend.  Out in his garden during this sunny weather this ‘new friend’ can be seen running next to Oscar, or sometimes in front or behind.  It is of course Oscar’s shadow!

Last Sunday, Palm Sunday, Jesus had many new friends as well as his own Disciples and followers.  He arrived in triumph to Jerusalem, on a donkey,  The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “ Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

A week can be a long time!  Indeed, even a few days can change people’s lives, their beliefs, their choice of friends.  Jesus went to the Temple, clearing away the money lenders; he faced the questions, verbal traps, from the Sadducees and the Pharisees and had his Disciples prepare for the Passover.  How exciting and full of promise it must have been for those faithful followers, yet the ‘Son of David’ was soon to become the unwanted friend; even admitting to knowing Jesus would be too dangerous for Peter.  ‘The Son’ seemed to ‘fade’ and with that his friends and followers also departed!

We all know the end of the story, the triumph of Easter Sunday, but not before that ultimate sacrifice, that ‘old rugged cross’, that bore all of humanity’s sins.  It is sometimes easy to have doubts, to lose faith, especially in the times we face at present, to feel like Peter, lost and uncertain “I swear that I do not know this man!”.  Yet the Risen Lord always knows us, walks with us, in front, behind, in our very being, “And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”  Even when the sun is not shining, and times are hard, because of the promise our Lord made us, all we have to do is believe and hold onto our faith, through good times and bad, for ‘The Son’ will rise and shine on Easter Day!