Sunday, March 29, 2015


Palm Sunday

What happened after Palm Sunday that turned events so drastically?

How is it that the crowd – the large crowd that had all of Jerusalem talking – loved Jesus on Sunday and called for his death on Friday?

Let's look at some of the scriptures. (Here, PK sang the hymn Lamb of Glory. You can hear a singing of it here:

Matthew 21:23-27 The authority of Jesus is questioned
23 When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came to him as he was teaching. They asked, “What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”
24 Jesus replied, “I have a question for you. If you tell me the answer, I’ll tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things. 25 Where did John get his authority to baptize? Did he get it from heaven or from humans?”
They argued among themselves, “If we say ‘from heaven,’ he’ll say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But we can’t say ‘from humans’ because we’re afraid of the crowd, since everyone thinks John was a prophet.”
27 Then they replied, “We don’t know.”
Jesus also said to them, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.

Matthew 22:15-22 The Pharisees seek to trap Jesus
15 Then the Pharisees met together to find a way to trap Jesus in his words.
16 They sent their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to him.
“Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are genuine and that you teach God’s way as it really is. We know that you are not swayed by people’s opinions, because you don’t show favoritism. 17 So tell us what you think: Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18 Knowing their evil motives, Jesus replied, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used to pay the tax.” And they brought him a denarion. 20 “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked.
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 22 When they heard this they were astonished, and they departed.

Matthew 22:34-40 The Greatest Commandment
34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had left the Sadducees speechless, they met together. 35 One of them, a legal expert, tested him. 36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being,[Deut 6:5] and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.[Lev 19:18] 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16 The plot against Jesus; Judas agrees to betray
26 When Jesus finished speaking all these words, he said to his disciples, “You know that the Passover is two days from now. And the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
Then the chief priests and elders of the people gathered in the courtyard of Caiaphas the high priest. They were plotting to arrest Jesus by cunning tricks and to kill him. But they agreed that it shouldn’t happen during the feast so there wouldn’t be an uproar among the people.

14 Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I turn Jesus over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver.

16 From that time on he was looking for an opportunity to turn him in.

Matthew 26:31-35 Jesus predicts all will fall away
31 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Tonight you will all fall away because of me. This is because it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will go off in all directions.[Zech 13:7]
32 But after I’m raised up, I’ll go before you to Galilee.”
33 Peter replied, “If everyone else stumbles because of you, I’ll never stumble.”
34 Jesus said to him, “I assure you that, before the rooster crows tonight, you will deny me three times.”
35 Peter said, “Even if I must die alongside you, I won’t deny you.”
All the disciples said the same thing.

What happened after Palm Sunday that turned events so drastically?
How is it that the crowd – the large crowd that had all of Jerusalem talking – loved Jesus on Sunday and called for his death on Friday?
Ironic, sometimes, that it’s called “The Passion.” (Greek for suffering)
The heat, the deep love, often a good, worthy characteristic – you can’t play a sport or music well without passion – I fear blinded people as they let The Moment take control instead of maintaining control of the moment.
And truthfully, I think people got carried away by some leaders who were intent on removing Jesus, who questioned and threatened their power.

My word for you today is Consider. Consider how you present yourself. Consider how you respond to situations, how you reply to situations, that you may not be swept up in the perhaps-not-thought-out response of the masses…

And consider that when the crowds on Palm Sunday hailed Jesus as King and shouted “Hosanna! Lord, save us!” that the way things transpired was the way God chose to save us… and consider your response to that.

It may sound trite or cliché, or it may be new again, but we hold these things to be true: that Jesus was the Son of God, that he somehow chose to become human and somehow chose to endure suffering and that somehow in the suffering that he allowed we are offered forgiveness and reconciliation and redemption and hope… he chose this for you. Consider how you might respond.

Behold the man:

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