Greetings all in the name of Christ!
This Sunday is not only a very important one in the annual cycle of a church, but it is also of extreme importance for our faith lives. Sunday is Palm Sunday. It is a day of celebration and a day of paradox. Celebration because we celebrate and remember Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem! As you know, Jerusalem was a major city at the time of Jesus ministry and thousands of people went in and came out of the city daily. Why was Christ’s entry so different than when any other person enters the Holy City? Of course, it was because of the fact that Jesus wasn’t an ordinary person; He was and is the Messiah! As he passed through the gates, he was fulfilling a prophecy that many thought signaled the end of Roman rule and the beginning of Christ’s rule over the world. As such, there was a huge parade during which people threw down their cloaks onto the road lest the animal on which he rode touched the earth. The waved palm branches which were symbols of victory! Amidst the tumult and chaos of this spontaneous parade was an air of expectancy and pregnant hope. At LAST, the Messiah has come to Jerusalem.
It is a day of paradox because not only is this Palm Sunday, it is also Passion Sunday. As uplifting and spirit-stirring as the parade into the city was, Christ knew that it was also the beginning of the of his earthly life. He knew that less than a week later, the very same crowd that shouted, “Hosanna!” would change their cries to, “Crucify!” He knew people would act out of bitter disappointment and with the mentality of a mob, and they would take to be crucified.
This Sunday, we continue our sermon series on the Seven Last Words as we examine the word, “Finished.” It is the last word Jesus would say before he died and so we’ll talk about what it means to go from the high point of triumphant entry to death on a cross in just a few days time.
See you Sunday in the PARADOXICAL place.