Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday, Redemption's Trigger

From the Gospel of Saint Luke, 19:29-40 (ESV):
"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."
It was a cool, damp Palm Sunday morning here in Suburbia Majora.  Where in year's past, the family at All Saint's (ASC) would begin Palm Sunday outside to process into the sanctuary, the celebration began in our Atrium.   Still, even with the mist outside, the ASC family was Able to apprehend the magnitude of what's been referred to as both the Triumphal Entry and Palm Sunday.  Father Scott Bailey's well-crafted homily worked to capture the moment.

Consider the Christ's entry into Jerusalem.  Jesus, the Son and very expression of the Father, was King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He had every right to ride into Jerusalem on a fiery steed that was draped in battle array.  The sound of horseshoes grinding against stone and the snorts of a warhorse could have filled the streets.  It was his, and his prerogative to exercise.  But no, rather than entering Jerusalem as a conquer, he entered as a King on a mission of peace.  The Prophet Zechariah captures it well:
"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."
History recalls how rulers would mount Donkeys or Mules when engaged in peaceful diplomatic missions. And if ever their was a peace mission, it was occurring here in the pages of the Gospels.  The Christ entered into the Eternal City, the site of God's Holy Temple.  A place where daily sacrifices had been offered for a millennia as an atonement for sin and transgressions.  A place where five more sin offerings would be made by the Aaronic order of Jewish Priests before the once and final offering would be made for all of mankind.  

We can pause, and ask how many of these who were crying out "Hosanna" would bitterly shout "Crucify him" in a few short days.

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