Summary: Palm Sunday celebration
Open with Video Clip - 1 min. The Lamb of God from Ray VanderLaan
Something is happening on two levels - very different things They didn’t understand then, most Christians don’t understand today. So let’s unpack it a bit before we watch the story unfold.
Background - Jerusalem is a Powder keg. Jews were subject to Rome - pagan - harsh taskmasters who have toned down some but not entirely.
Romans worked hand in hand with the Chief Priests (Hellenists) to maintain order - mob hysteria on more than one occasion during the Passover - brought riots, violence and the Romans were swift to stomp out the uprising. But the general population wasn’t too happy with that close working arrangement.
Why were these problems intensified at Passover?
God delivered Israelites from Egypt - similarities - oppressed, cried out to God for deliverance, hoping for a Messiah - Moses II Right Handed Solution - POWER
200 years earlier- Antiochus Epiphanes Greek conqueror sacrificed a hog in the temple and made priests drink the blood
Maccabees revolted and cleansed the temple - there were coins minted with palm fronds to commemorate the revolt. Waving Palm branches like us waving a flag.
What we call Palm Sunday, the Jews called Lamb Selection Day - Ex. 12
Passover also a time of deep personal reflection - sacrifice spotless lamb
Jews had another tradition - scapegoat.
Video Clip from Matt. 21
So they were looking for a white stallion with a conquering Messiah
What they saw was a sacrificial lamb riding in gently majesty
Luke 19 tells us Jesus paused to weep over Jerusalem. If you only knew - he could see that their clamor for right handed rescue would end in destruction 70 AD - but if they embraced his solution, they would have escaped it.
They laid down Palm leaves Roll out the red carpet symbolic of conquering King
Son of David heralds back to the greatest King Israel ever had.
Hosanna - save us - was remembering the Macabeus who overthrew the Greek intruder
No wonder the Chief Priests were saying QUIET! IxNay on the ingKay
Why didn’t Jesus hush the crowds
Presenting himself to die so that In conquering death, the real enemy, the real oppressor, he could rise triumphantly
Next - the only Right Handed display of power we see from Jesus
Cleansing of the Temple - Jesus is more than a conscious for them
What kind of trash creeps into the church? Judgment begins in the house of God
Don’t ever confuse taking out the trash with becoming lovable or acceptable
It is the least I can do - it is removing a barrier to my closest friend that has been cluttering the way
It is setting priorities - why waste my time playing solitaire at the edge of Grand Canyon
What was ticking Jesus off? Practices that limited access to God.
Monopolies that preyed on the church - practices that replaced prayer which is at it’s essence, relationship
Luke recalls that Jesus took time to heal the blind and the crippled - normally excluded from temple worship.
My Father’s House is a house of prayer - (among the nations - Mark)
Why didn’t they see it coming - We all have 20/20 hindsight
A few days later these crowds would all clamor for His crucifixion. But before you level them - we are not so different ourselves.
We are fickle - we love God one minute then when we are faced with an ethical dilemma, we fold, we lie, we cling to materialism, we turn our backs on Jesus - I never knew him. Not only this crowd, but Jesus’ own disciples would do the very same thing.
This is not the kind of King we were expecting. We want a Mighty King to crush our supposed enemies, not a king who teaches that the path to peace depends on our relating to Him in trust and obedience.
Jesus is always approaching the church, often a tear is shed when He sees our stubborn insistence in Right Handed solutions to our messed up lives.
At times Jesus comes to the church to overturn our tables
Growing pains in the church are the alternative to a death grip
You wont know everyone deeply unless you limit the church to a dozen or so people
As the church grows you will have to share your turf, seat, job and perceived sense of value with newcomers. But that’s OK because we will be constantly needing new leaders to open up new places for the church.
Older leaders will need to transition to become leaders who mentor and raise up new leaders.
Old wine always needs to expect new wine to be produced and help it mature to become vintage wine
This week - look for Jesus, let Him overturn the tables of religiosity in your life. Let Him gather you to the Father. Kneel at His cross and worship Him.