Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
When Robert Griffin III came to Washington DC he was greeted as the new messiah of the Washington Redskins. For too long had the Redskins failed to procure a franchise quarterback, a leader that could take them to the playoffs and eventually the Superbowl. Finally, it seemed, the organization had made a bold move for a young quarterback who contained all of the qualities necessary for returning the Redskins to their former glory.
His first season behind center was remarkable. RGIII was named Offensive Player of the Week numerous times, he set records for the highest passer rating by a rookie quarterback and highest touchdown to interception ration, and he led to the team to the playoffs after winning the NFC East Division.
After sustaining an injury toward the end of the season, many fans and sports pundits speculated whether or not RGIII would be able to compete in the same fashion during the following season. This past year, the Redskins returned to form posting an embarrassing 3-13 season, the worst record for the team since 1994. Many people, of course, blamed RGIII’s limited mobility, improper coaching decisions, and lack of enthusiasm from other players for the disappointing season.
Within a year RGIII went from being the hailed messiah, to a questionable concern. Favor and optimism was quickly replaced with skepticism and doubt. Of course some of the die-hard fans remained committed to this young quarterback, but a large portion of fan favor was quickly turned in the opposite direction from one season to another.
The crowds yelled “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord,” when Jesus enter Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. This man was their Messiah, the one they had been waiting for. They were so enthralled by this Son of Man that they pulled palm branches from the fields and placed them on the road as a sign of worship, devotion, and adoration. Incredibly, those shouts of “Hosanna! (Save us!)” changed to shouts of “crucify him!” within a week. The incredible favor of the crowds changed from dedication to destruction.
Our favor and devotion for the many messianic figures in our lives can change on a dime. How often have RGIIIs and others been hailed and rejected within such a short period of time? Yet, for us, our Messiah, the one who died for the sins of the world never gave up on us when we gave up on him. He rode on the back of the donkey knowing good and well what would take place by the end of the week, mounted the hard wood of the cross with the shouts of “crucify!” ringing in his ears, and loved us nonetheless.
Today, as we begin to approach Palm Sunday and Holy Week, I encourage you to consider the people in your life that you once supported and then gave up on. I’m not just talking about public figures such as RGIII or politicians, but also people close to your heart. Who have you given up on? Perhaps in these final weeks of Lent it is time to reach out to those who have fallen out of our favor. Maybe today is the day that you can reconcile a broken relationship and truly live into God’s love here and now.