Lectionary Year A
March 24, 2002
Step VI - Contemporary Address
(JFC) For Passion/Palm Sunday, an exposition of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem might
open some parishioners' windows on the fuller nature of Jesus of Nazareth/Christ.
B. Describing the Audience
(JFC) Any congregation with a need to examine (again?) the human as well as the
divine natures of Jesus could appreciate a declaration from this text.
C. Contemporary Address
(JFC) A sermon, entitled for this working draft, "Jesus' Full Disclosure".
If Jesus' disciples needed any further explanations of who He was, as did some of the by-standers in Jerusalem that first Passion/Palm Sunday, He gave it to them in no uncertain terms. He showed them, as well as having been telling them, who He was and how He was going to die and be raised. He also gave them new insight into what kind of Messiah He really was. The picture is clear as clear can be. He is a Messiah like Isaiah and Zechariah and the Psalmists expected, whether they knew it.
I. Jesus' Humility
A. Jesus chose to mount a donkey, a lowly beast of burden. He was painting them a picture undeniable. It portrayed a panorama of humility. Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471) wrote of humility, "Study to do another's will rather than thine own. Choose ever to have less rather than more. Seek ever the lower place and to be subject to all; ever wish and pray that the will of God will be perfectly done in thee and in all. Behold such a man enters the bounds of peace and calm." Perhaps these lines explain Jesus' motives here.
B. Jesus' attitude of humility got Him respect. His disciples did what He requested. They did it without question. Jesus covered the bases, He allowed for questions and objections to what He was doing and His watchwords covered their problems.
II. Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9
A. Isaiah 62:11 compresses chapters 60-62 which describe Israel's eschatological hopes as Isaiah envisions them. Isaiah had several visions declaring his peoples' future hopes. As much as Elie Weisel is respected, we might question one of his comments on the subject of hope. He said in his Nobel Lecture of 12/11/86, "Just as despair can come from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings." We know better, we believe hope comes from God. Isaiah believed and so do we.
B. Zechariah 9:9 calls worshippers to rejoice and shout aloud to praise the representative of God's victories. Do modern pseudo-sophisticated worshippers express them/ourselves thusly? Rarely. Should we do more of it? Perhaps it would prove healthy for us to try. The greatest of victories is Jesus' victory over death and it is for us all to share.
III. Psalm 118:26
A. The latter part of Psalm 118 praises God for salvation brought through divine grace. It refers to the cornerstone which the builders reject, which, nevertheless, becomes the chief cornerstone by God's doing. It also acknowledges God's making days, which are to be enjoyed. Furthermore, it uses the term for Hosanna, as well, asking God for salvation.
B. Of course, Jesus brings the epitome of salvation's revelation. Most of what He accomplished spelled out God's desire for all to be saved.
This God of Palm/Passion Sunday both shows and tells us we are delivered from stereotypical Messianism. It shows and tells us God is with us, for us and always so where we are and wherever we go and whatever we do or not.
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