Tag Archives: Palm Sunday

Betrayal, and Moving Past It

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

green palm tree leaf
Photo by Jonas Von Werne on Pexels.com

Of course today begins Easter week 2019. This particular Sunday is called Palm Sunday. It commemorates a day 2000 years ago when a man entered Jerusalem surrounded by cheers and applause, only to be betrayed to death 4 days later.

When Jesus, who had proven to be a miracle worker, showed up in Jerusalem this particular Sunday, he was already famous. He had healed people, cast out demons, and even raised a few persons back to life after they had been dead for a while.  Naturally then, he was big news.

A Messiah, or “anointed one” had been promised by prophets for thousands of years. The nation of Israel in Jesus’ day was occupied by the Roman Empire. Jewish citizens expected the Messiah to free them from this oppressive rule.

Many people believed Jesus was the promised Messiah (which he was). Problem is, most   had no clue what he was talking about when he preached about an eternal kingdom. They thought he was their new political and military king.

This is why they cheered and threw palm branches on the ground when he entered Jerusalem.

A few days later, he was arrested when one of his own disciples betrayed him. The happy crowd turned on him too. He wasn’t meeting their short-sighted expectations.

Isn’t it awful when a person holds unreasonable expectations of you and then turns on you because you do not meet them? This happens in many a divorce, I am sure.

My first reaction in such situations is hurt, swiftly followed by anger. Unfortunately, the anger tends to stick around. Anger keeps me justified. I can continue to blame the other person for being a jerk while exonerating myself of all wrong.  This does not help!

There is a better way.

The healthier and more beneficial way is to talk it out with someone in the know. Honestly considering my role in any fallout is actually healing. I can forgive myself for real instead of imaginary mistakes, and make amends if it is appropriate. Either way, life moves along.*

Jesus’ response to betrayal was not angry.  He gave up his own life – no one took it. His reason for doing so was anything but suicide by Roman Soldier. He died, literally, so we may find life. More on this on Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday, this week.

Today’s Helpful Word  

John 12:12-14 

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

*Domestic abuse and child abuse are products of unrealistic expectations. If you have been so betrayed, I want to encourage you to not remain a victim. Speak up. explain what you can and cannot do. IF THIS IS A DANGEROUS IDEA, DON’T.  Instead, tell someone else who is in a position to help. I offer many options on my resources page, The Truth About Abuse.


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.



Palm Sunday: Looking Beyond the What Is to the Will Be

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Jesus never claimed to be the political or militant leader that would break the Roman Empire’s hold over his people.  Many hoped he would, some believed that was his purpose, and together these crowds cheered him into Jerusalem. 

Today is Palm Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the beginning of Holy Week. In about 28 AD, thirty-three year-old Jesus rode into town on a formerly unridden donkey colt. People threw cloaks and palm branches on the ground to mark a hero’s entrance. Similar to our red carpets today, this was an act of celebration and even devotion. 

What most did not understand, even some of his closest disciples, was that he came to free his people from sin and death, not Roman rule. 

The What IS

How often do we miss the best for the seems-good? Life is full of tyrants like cancer, poverty, loneliness, and injustice. Struggles are part of everyone’s existence. We naturally want rescue from calamity and pain.  If our worship of God is dependent on him making hurt disappear, we will grow angry and turn away from him when life hurts anyway. 

I’m sitting in my office recovering from surgery for cancer diagnosed a few weeks ago. I do not feel well, however I am able to think, write, and complete basic functions. Not everyone following surgery can say the same. I’m grateful for my health.

Yesterday I found out my income is taking a deep cut. This is not the first time lack of money has threatened my wellbeing.  I have kept a list of occasions God has provided for me in unexpected and unusual ways during financially hopeless times. I’m grateful God doesn’t let go.

My cousin’s daughter went missing March 10. My heart hurts for my baby cousin and his family. Anxiety over this has made me physically ill, yet I know who holds the future.  I’m grateful H. is not out of her heavenly Father’s sight.

The What WILL BE

Yes, we may feel as if unhappy news pins us down. We could rail against a God who  allows bad things to happen.  We might demand he answer our prayers the way we dictate.

Another possibility is to turn our faces to notice Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.

He knew he would be hung on a cross by the end of that week. He was aware which voices shouted in joy for his coming and which ones whispered hate, plotting his murder.  He was able to run away, and chose instead to complete his mission. He saw beyond the immediate injustice and agony to the day  you and I have an option to believe and be set free permanently. Because of Jesus, we can enjoy close relationship with God. 

I do not like pain, anxiety, difficulty, and the like. I do pray for God to take it away. However my faith is in the One who knows the rest of the story. 

May my life and yours point to Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life for all who do not know hope.

Today’s Helpful Word


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.

Palm branches from rgbstock.com; Jesus on donkey from http://www.LumoProject.com