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Palm Sunday, Arrival of the Sacrificial King

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How has God surprised us this week?
Christa share about Newborns in Need; Anyone else?
Luke 19:28–44 ESV
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Introduction:
I like espionage books—Tom Clancy, Lee Childs, Jack Higgins, Robert Ludlum, even some John Grisham.
Hook
I always find it fascinating when the main character does what others expect, and it turns out to be something entirely different.
we know throughout Mark & John’s gospel, Jesus was acutely aware of His purpose and adamantly avoided any attempts to arrest him, or move up the timetable
We know the in the lat 6 months of Jesus’ life, he was kept out of the public eye
—give examples
And so when we arrive at the account of his entrance into Jerusalem several more things come into clear view
-Jesus has a plan
-the crowd recognizes him and proclaim Hosanna (referenceing Zephaniah and )
-honor and respect. (While Pilate arrives in Jerusalem as a show of power, Jesus comes on a donkey)
Pharisees are angered b/c they cannot arrest him with all the political support. The Romans are also leary of a riot.
Jesus changes everything, following the miracle of Lazarus,
The People want a King to deliver them from the oppression of Tyrrants
The Pharisees want a King who elevate them to power, to sit as priests over the tribes (with them as major players of the restoration)
Jesus is ushering in His kingdom, in symbolic fashion, but without the pomp and circumstance, and without the power plays. This King is entering the city to initiate a chain reaction of events that will lead to the sacrifice of the servant king.
Satan in His estimation is using the powers that be and the tensions and aspirations of the people to bring supposed doom ad vanquish his foe, Jesus the Christ.
(Refer back to the hook)
Yet, just like the type of fictional books I like to read, this profound historical event, sets a course of circumstances that will forever change human history…
The main character, Jesus, indeed enters into the holy city, as a symbol of His kingship, but His realm will not unfold or be brought about the way the people envision—and the desired defeat at the hands of his foes, turns in on them.
Agents of the evil one, the religious leaders, want to destroy and kill the ways of God; at times subtle and deceptive and secretive, in the end on full display their disdain for God is revealed with the tears of Jesus.
several ways to interpret Palm Sunday and the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
1) Prophetic Context
fulfillment of prophets
Zechariah 9:9
Zechariah 9:9 ESV
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
2) Biblical Context
image of the unfolding of God’s Kingdom
3) Metaphorical Implications
Way of God is into and through the pain and sin.
Summarize NT Wright (below)
4) Practical Implications
In the midst of God’s unfolding kingdom, we still have opportunity to raise our Hosanna’s
Can the palm branches and cloaks represent our surrender to the sacrificial King?
Beginning with the Sunday and through May 20th, which is Pentecost Sunday, I would like to respond to the tenor of these passages and the lament of Christ.
Let this week be the beginning of something new. Can you acknowledge whats going on in your world
-recognize how it’s taking its toll
recognize how satan has tried to bury you, ____, ____
-confess how you have tried to fix or coerce God to fix according to your ways
Can you lay down your burdens, your cares, your wounds, your sin, your shame, your guilt, your pain, your _____
Let the sacrificial King walk with you, over and through
let the sacrificial King the savior take what you are carrying with Him to the cross
As we wave our palms and lay down our cloaks, can we walk with the sacrificial King and sing our Hosannas and Hallelujah’s
Remind people about service next week. To invite a friend.
Closing:
Bring up the Easter Bags
Sing as the are brought
Then we are going to bless them
NT Wright:
He then continues with the warning of what was going to happen to Jerusalem, because, as he says, "You didn't recognise the time of your visitation by God." This is the moment, and you were looking the other way. Your dreams of national liberation, leading you into head-on confrontation with Rome, were not God's dreams. God called Israel so that through Israel he might redeem the world; but Israel itself needs redeeming as well.
Hence God comes to Israel riding on a donkey, in fulfilment of Zechariah's prophecy of the coming peaceful kingdom, announcing judgment on the system and the city that have turned their vocation in upon themselves, and going off to take the weight of the world's evil and hostility onto himself, so that by dying under it he might exhaust its power.
Jesus was triumphant over two powers and dreams that day (the cruel western wind of pagan empire and the high-pressure system of national aspiration.) and through his unfolding sacrifice he would initiate a realm of salvation, grace, hope, peace, and love.
This was the perfect storm. This was where the hurricane of divine love met the cold might of empire and the overheated aspiration of Israel.
And perhaps only then can we begin to make sense of all the other things that preoccupy us, the things we carry with us as we make our pilgrimage to the foot of the cross.
"Take up your cross," said Jesus, "and follow me" - and as we do so we often find ourselves caught up in our own micro-versions of the perfect storm. We are subject, first, to all the usual pressures of contemporary culture. If you want to get on in the world, you've got to play by its rules. We find quite quickly, however, that the price of "getting on" in the world is our own integrity, as secular pragmatism continues to sweep old-fashioned moralism out of the way. That is one element in our own perfect storm.
The second is that each of us has our own aspirations and expectations. We want to graduate, get a job, earn some money, perhaps get married. But somehow we have to navigate the choppy and increasingly stormy waters where all those normal and natural things meet the sharp, often heartless, wind of contemporary culture. How do we prevent our own aspirations being merely self-centred and ultimately idolatrous?
As we approach Good Friday, we should be aware of, and we should be praying for, the third element: where is God in all of this? Woe betide us if we merely invoke God to back up our own ambitions and aspirations. Woe betide us doubly if we imagine we can find God simply in the spirit of the age. These are the two weather-systems with which we live all the time - but during Holy Week we are called to open ourselves to the third one.
If we try to follow Jesus in faith and hope and love on his journey to the cross, we will find that the hurricane of love which we tremblingly call "God" will sweep in from a fresh angle, fulfilling our dreams by first shattering them, bringing something new out of the dangerous combination of personal hopes and cultural pressures. We mustn't be surprised if in this process there are moments when it feels as though we are being sucked down to the depths, five hundred miles from shore amid hundred-foot waves, weeping for the dream that has had to die, for the kingdom that isn't coming the way we wanted. That is what it's like when we are caught up in Jesus's perfect storm.
But be sure, when that happens, when you say with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, "We had hoped ... but now it's all gone wrong," that you are on the verge of hearing the fresh word - the word that comes when the storm is stilled, and in the new great calm we see a way forward we had never imagined. "Foolish ones," said Jesus, "and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and so enter into his glory?"
Who knows what might happen if each of us were to approach Holy Week and Good Friday praying humbly for the powerful fresh wind of God to blow into that combination of cultural pressure and personal aspiration, so that we each might share in the sufferings of the Messiah and come through into the new life he longs to give us
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