Palm (Cloak!) Sunday

Palm Sunday – Luke 19:29-44

29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?’ just say this, “The Lord needs it.’ ” 32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” 41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44 They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”

Introduction

The people want a king and they expect that Jesus is just the person to be king. But they are not looking for a king of peace but rather a king who will topple the Roman government and free them. They expect a king who will gather troops and show military might. They expect a king who will bring about all of this right here right now. Jesus comes into town as a king would come, a subversive political act.

So none of it happens the way the people imagine.

What are your questions about this reading?

My Questions
Where are they?

What’s the business with the colt stuff? (Jesus is planning something in secret)

Why did they spread their cloaks on the ground?

Why are they going to Jerusalem?

Why did the Pharisees try and get the disciples to be quiet? (you’re gonna get us killed!)

Why did Jesus cry?

Some Teaching

Luke 2:14 (Glory to God in the highest)

Luke 19:11 – …they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately

Exodus 12:1-14 – the Passover (population would have more than doubled during this Passover celebration)

Conclusions

We began today with shouts of peace and a royal welcome for Jesus. “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” And today’s reading ends with Jesus weeping, saying “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!

The words the people shout echo those sung by the angels at his birth, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’ There is a difference, isn’t there? The people today, preceding Jesus’ death, shout about peace in heaven while the angels, announcing the birth of Jesus, sang about peace on earth. Did the people know there would be no peace? Did the people know of the coming destruction of Jerusalem of which Jesus weeps?

Jesus is not weeping out of surprise but rather out of a deep knowing of what awaits: betrayal by his closest friends, betrayal by the court of law, betrayal by the mass of people who have been following him and singing his praise. And, the destruction of Jerusalem. He knows we reject peace.

What are the things that make for peace? No sooner have the cries of “blessed is he” died down when the roar of “crucify him” replaces it. And then we watch what the love of God through Christ Jesus looks like.

God gives us the very thing that makes for peace: Jesus

And our response to the very thing that makes for peace is the cross.

And initially,

It looks like we have lost.

It looks like love has lost.

It looks like Jesus has lost.

It looks like love is not enough when in fact, it’s all that ever matters.

This is our love story. This is the thing that makes for peace.

Thanks be to God.

Speak Your Mind

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