Faithlife Sermons

Palm Sunday

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Explanation
The Parade- This parade was a very specific processional and it was also a very familiar processional for the people in the first century. Over the years a number of kings entered the city of Jerusalem after they had conquered an enemy 4 things would happen
The conqueror/ruler is escorted into the city by the citizenry or army of the conqueror
The procession is accompanied by hymns and acclamations
Symbolism is picked to show the authority of the ruler
the entrance into the city is followed by a ritual sacrifice in the temple on behalf of the whole city
One account was written about Alexander the great entering Jerusalem: Antiquities of the Jews
“Then all the Jews together greeted Alexander with one voice surrounded him....then he gave his hand to the high priest and with the Jews running beside him, entered the city. Afterwards he went up to the temple where he sacrificed to God under the direction of the high priest”
All of these things occured but each characteristic of this processional of Jesus into Jerusalem was pointing people to a heavenly kingdom and to a God that was longing to reconcile.
Jesus was escorted into the city most likely by the people who had been with him and other citizens of Jerusalem not armies or nobilities. The ones who had been healed, family members of the healed and transformed with a hope of new life for them.
The people were singing and chanting an excerpted from in the 26th verse this psalm was one that is part of the Hallel psalms that were used in festivals of Israel and what we see here is people proclaiming this victory that they thought Jesus was going to bring to the jews as a king would bring to a nation through great battles
The symbolism of Jesus’ rule is that of peace......the donkey is the animal that a king would right in processions during times of peace to show his humble service to his people in the times without war. and so the symbolism of Jesus rule that was foretold in Zechariah is that of peace. Even the method that the donkey was procured....”the Lord needs it” was the simple phrase and even the owner of the donkey had an understanding of the significance of the moment they found themselves and that is evidenced by them allowing the disciples to take the donkey with them.
Jesus weeping over the city is the symbolism of this sacrifice......as a profit would weep over the sins of his people in communication to God Jesus wept over Jerusalem because of their blindness to the presence of God among them.
The People-
Jesus was is king alright and the people who were escorting him into the city were the people who characterized his ministry.
Fisherman
The People
tax collectors
Samaritans
prostitues
blindmen
people who had been possessed by demons
cripples
outcasts
So Jesus is a king with a following that is not typical for the kings of his time. The garments that would be laid out were not royal robes, but were tattered shawls, garments that were sweat stained, smelled of disease and not worth much more than the dirt they were laid in.....
The people who now screamed blessed who comes in the name of the Lord would leave the city the next week scratching their head and saying well man I really thought Jesus was the answer to our issues. I thought he was going to be our king......if only he hadn’t...
The Pharisees- The first place Jesus face opposition in Jerusalem is here from this group who command him to stop the people from making these proclamations.
Jesus responds to their hearts and says that in a similar way that John the baptist responds saying “God is able from these stones to raise up children of Abraham....”
Jesus responds to their hearts and says that in a similar way that John the baptist responds saying “God is able from these stones to raise up children of Abraham....”
Jesus says that if these people do not praise him that the rocks will shout out his praises for him...
this is a sad indication that even in the presence of the new work God was doing through Jesus the hearts of the people, who were historically God’s representation to the world, were hard and waiting for something that looked different or would bring glory to what they were doing, showed some benefit to them......
They wanted something that Jesus was never intended to be as the savior and king from Heaven.
The Pharisees
Jesus weeping over the city
Jesus weeping over the city
This depiction of Jesus weeping over the city is a picture of his priestly/prophetic function. The weeping over Jerusalem was also seen in
Luke 13:34–35 NLT
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Luke
this was Jesus lamenting for his people and in the closing verses of this section he weeps for those who he knows will be destroyed and the loss of relationship and the loss of life that he knows will occur because of the hardness of people’s hearts.
The very word Jerusalem contains a reference to peace and it is in this time in the life of it’s people Jesus is lamenting the fact that Jerusalem will not find peace.
The position of Joy and celebration with Lament is profound.....The very idea that in a few moments time Jesus can experience both in such deep ways is something that we can glean understanding and hope from during the culmination of the lenten season.
Application
We find ourselves in a range of places during this time possibly
jobless
employed, but not working
working from home
adjusting work routines that were never meant to be done from home
isolated
lonely
bored
battling depression from lack of community
overjoyed for a slower schedule
fearful of infection
fearful about the future and when this will all end
excited for homeschooling
I don’t believe in a theology that tells us that God caused all this and that this is some cosmic way to clean up the overpopulation issues.
times of crisis are ripe for bad theology!
One thing I
We sit in a place
It is possible that in this time you find yourself in a place of
Can you see yourself:
Joy- Working from home, no commute, more family time, maybe the lighter schedule isn’t impacting financially and you can enjoy the lighter responsibility of work. Some are retired and are in the habit of not leaving home and so this is a walk in the park for you in life right now.
People at the parade?
Lament- work has notified you that you are no longer needed during this time of shut down, you or a family member has recieved news that you have COVID-19, or some other diagnosis that puts your health in serious jeopardy. Loved ones are sick or dying. Life is much more stressful with the kids home 24/7 and you are now their teacher.
It is possible to find yourself in the middle of both of these situations.....you are in good company in the presence of Jesus.
Jesus was living in the moment where his earthly ministry was being celebrated and yet he was living in the knowledge that people still didn’t get it and that their lives were in jeopardy because of it.....not to mention that he was walking closer and closer to his own torture and death on the cross.
We are living in a time where there are no easy answers!
Things don’t make sense now even more than they didn’t make sense last month or 2 months ago.
What I pray that in this time of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus is that we can can hear the voice of Jesus calling out to us.......
Come closer, I want to speak comfort to your pain
Come Closer, I want to speak peace to your chaos
Come closer, I want to speak strength to your weakness
Come closer, I want to speak healing to your sickness
Church redemption is at hand.....it is passing us by right now.
-Just like Jesus’ methods in the past this doesn’t look like what we thought it would look like to have a time to recenter our lives on him.
-Just like Jesus’ healings in scripture…he is close and our wholeness can be found in the presence of Jesus
- You or your loved ones maybe suffering with sickness, or fatal diseases know that Jesus is close and he mourns with you. He knows your pain and is dwelling in you at this time.
-People who may have never been ready to hear about the life changing power of a relationship with Jesus are ready to hear Good News
God did NOT cause this, but in this time Redemption can be seen and realized as the body of Jesus is emptied of self understanding, self dependence and are filled with the life giving, life changing, presence of the Holy Spirit
Jesus is passing by today on this Palm Sunday and my Prayer is that we will see him, praise him, and prepare our hearts and lives for him to breakout and be resurrected in our world today.
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