The Inside Column 29/3

Posted in: The Inside Column- Mar 29, 2015 No Comments

Good morning and a warm welcome to all. If you are visiting with us we would love to get to know you. Please feel free to stay for a hot drink after the service.

Today is beginning of Holy week; Holy Week is at the centre of the Christian faith. For one glorious week, all around the world millions of Christians celebrate the glorious events of this week.

Holy Week is bracketed by two events -The Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday and The Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Everything that is fundamental to our faith was proven to be true this week.

We all know the general outlines of the story but what about some of the details? Why did Jesus ride into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey? Why did the people wave palm branches? Why did they cry out “Hosanna!” as he passed by? What does it all mean?

The story of Palm Sunday really begins with a donkey. Most of us have heard how Jesus sent his disciples to a nearby village with instructions to bring back a donkey. Nothing would have seemed more unlikely than for a king to come riding on a donkey. If you wanted to make an impact, you would come in on a war-horse or surrounded by soldiers or mounted on a chariot. But on a
donkey?

Jesus didn’t look much like a king that day. But that was the whole point. He’s a king, but he’s not like any earthly king. The Triumphal Entry was an “acted parable,” in which Jesus was sending a clear message to the nation. “This is what I am! I am your King, but I am not the King you were expecting!”

As Jesus began the three mile journey from Bethany to Jerusalem, the people along the road began to do something no one could have predicted, they waved palm fronds. When the Jews waved the palm branches as Jesus rode by, they were saying, “This is the man and this is the day!” It was the welcome given to kings and conquerors. “Ride on, King Jesus, no man can hinder you.”

All four gospel writers make a point not only to mention that the people shouted, but also what they shouted. They specifically mention two things: First they cried out “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!”, and second they said, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” “Hosanna!” is a Hebrew word meaning “Save us now.”

Jews immediately recognized the second statement as a quotation from Psalm 118, one of the best-known Messianic psalms. By shouting these words, the people were in effect explicitly identifying Jesus as the promised Messiah. These people believed that at long last the Messiah had come.

Today, just like the city of Jerusalem, we find ourselves in the presence of Jesus. I wonder what He finds when He looks into our faces? Does he see people who recognize Him for who He is? The Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God? Palm Sunday reminds us that each of us must sooner or later must makes up our minds about Jesus.

Yours in Christ

Philip

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