This weekend is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.
It’s hard to believe we’re coming to the end of the Lenten season. We’re quickly approaching the remembrance of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. With Palm Sunday we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Palm branches waving, people crying out to him to save them.
Every Sunday when we gather to receive Christ’s body and blood, we echo the words of the people on that Palm Sunday, as well as the words of the hosts of heaven that Isaiah saw surrounding the throne.
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might: Heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. (Is 6:3, Mat 21:9)
The people on what we now call “Palm Sunday” were calling out to Jesus to save them. Hosanna is the Hebrew word for “Save us now!” It wasn’t just a parade like we have in Waterloo. The people were under the impression that King Jesus was coming to win back Jerusalem from the authority of the Romans and make the people their own theistic nation ruled by a king. Jesus was coming to save them all, alright, but his exaltation would be upon the wood of a cross rather than the gold of a throne.
Only a few days later the Jewish leaders would have their opportunity to accuse Jesus and have him killed.
Jesus knew what was coming when he entered Jerusalem that day. He knew about the betrayal. He knew about the mockery. He knew about the pain and suffering that he would endure…and yet he still went.
He went so that all who believe in Him have eternal life.
That “all” includes you. He went so that you have eternal life through the forgiveness of sins. As you look at the cross you see your king. Not wearing a crown of gold, but a crown of twisted thorns. You see your king who endured the suffering that you deserve so that you, by faith, never need to.
Today, we still cry out as the people did that day, “Save us, Son of David!” He hears our prayers and responds in mercy forgiving our sins. One day we will be with the angels and archangels evermore praising the king, not of a geographic plot of land, but of the whole universe who has made us citizens by grace. In the meantime, we continue running this race of faith looking forward to the prize of eternal life when Christ returns.
If you have questions, want to chat, or anything like that, please just let me know.
Have a great day and God bless!
Take a moment to look through the Service Folder for this weekend so you can dig into the texts, prayers, and hymns as you prepare your heart and mind to receive God’s good gifts and praise His name.
You can also find a deeper dive into the liturgy with this segment from Issues, Etc.
Here a summary of how the Lectionary readings tie together this weekend:
The Son of David Ascends His Throne and Reigns in Love from His Cross
The Son of David comes in gentle humility, “sitting on a donkey’s colt,” yet as the King of Israel “in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13–15). He comes to be lifted up in glory on the cross in order to cast out “the ruler of this world” and draw all people to Himself (John 12:23–32). The Church is thus called to “rejoice greatly,” because her King comes with salvation, and “he shall speak peace to the nations” (Zech. 9:9–10). As He is anointed “beforehand for burial” (Mark 14:8), He also ascends His royal throne as “the King of the Jews” by way of His Passion (Mark 15:2, 17–19, 26). He goes “as it is written of him,” wherefore “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power” (Mark 14:21, 62). For the glory of God is love, which crescendos in the humble obedience and voluntary self-sacrifice of the Son of God for the salvation of sinners. So, God the Father has “highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9), that He might reign over us in love with the forgiveness of His cross.
Did you have to miss service last Sunday or Wednesday night? Catch up now.
Here’s Sunday’s Service:
Here’s Wednesday’s Service: