In about 1913 two politicians met at the Central Café in Vienna. One had recently returned from Moscow and raised the likelihood of there being a revolution in Russia before too long. His sceptical companion glanced across the room at another man and said, “And who’s going to lead it? – him?” The man to whom he referred was none other than Leon Trotsky, who at the time had a reputation for idleness, but who within a few short years would lead a revolution that would change the course of history.
On this Palm Sunday we remember another unlikely looking revolutionary – a carpenter-turned-preacher from the backwater that was Nazareth. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, no one looking at him would have thought for one moment that he was likely to lead a revolution that would change the course of history.
But the sceptics were wrong – both about Trotsky and about Jesus. The difference between them was that whereas Trotsky’s revolution began with a denial of God, Jesus started with the assertion that he was God. Perhaps this explains why the upheaval that Trotsky initiated was ultimately short-lived, but the revolution that Jesus began continues to touch and change lives around the world.