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