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Monday, March 25, 2013

Sermon for Cancelled Palm Sunday 03242013


May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  Redeemer of the world, You rode into Jerusalem on a colt and the people expected You to be King.  Yet, by the end of the week, You hung on the Cross.  Enable us who hear this to understand that You came to set us free from sin, death and the devil and it required Your life to wipe the slate clean of the stain of our sin.  But You freely did this out of the greatest love for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

With great pomp and circumstance as the music began the crowd jumped to their feet, turned to the entrance and saw a sight unseen before.  For some this event occurs every time a bride enters a church for the final walk down the aisle as a single person, escorted usually by her father.  This imagery of the bride and bridegroom is quite appropriate for us this morning.  As we begin Passion Week we will be considering Jesus entrance into the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Hear Matthew’s account in our series of People and Places of Lent of Jesus as He enters into Jerusalem as told in Matthew 21 (Matthew 21:8-11)

Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!”
10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

While Jesus entered the city sitting upon a colt, the referenced acclamation, “Hosanna to the Son of David” clearly reminds us that this is no ordinary person Who rides the colt, but none other than the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, Second Person of the Holy Trinity.  His entrance into Jerusalem fulfills the Old Testament as we have heard and now begins the longest week of events that culminates on Golgotha.

The entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem is thought to be a game changer.  Jesus entering on the colt, the foal of a donkey is primed and destined for Him to be King.  The one who rides is not only acclaimed to be the Messiah, the long foretold Savior of the World, but clearly there arises a group who do not have the same belief and see and are trying to work for Jesus destiny to be death in order to protect their ‘vested interests’.  Jesus opponents, the Chief Priest, Pharisees and Saducees look with disdain on Jesus Christ and are working behind the scenes, but this procession of Jesus entrance into Jerusalem is like adding gasoline to the fire for excitement of the crowds.  Their Messiah is here, Jesus is heralded and honored as He enters Jerusalem.

With the phrase, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entrance into the city reveals the devotion of the people to Jesus, His teachings and His impact upon their lives, their acclamation of Him as Lord and His lineage to King David former ruler, King and the truth of Jesus direct lineage.

Yet, why should these simple words, Jesus entrance into Jerusalem and the disdain of the religious leaders be important for us today?  Why should a man sitting on a colt, entering the Holy City and headed to the Temple be a voice of victory for us today?  Why should our procession, our confession and our receipt of Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood around the altar change us today?

Simply, with Jesus entrance into the Holy City, our remembering this historic event in the life of Jesus connects each of us to the plan of salvation and reminds us of the most intimate connection each of us have with Jesus Christ.  This morning we not only celebrate Jesus riding on the colt, with the baptism of Kari Snethen, we are reminded of our connection to the life and events of Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection for each of us today, but especially for Kari.  When Kari was brought forward and washed with the Water and Word in Holy Baptism she was made a child of God and made a partaker of Jesus entrance into the Holy City which ultimately led to Jesus Christ innocent death on Calvary.  Jesus Christ entrance into the Holy City began the sequence of events that led to His being scourged for our sins, sentenced to death and suffering on the Cross for the sins of mankind.  But what is more important is that Kari like many before her has now been baptized into Jesus Christ life and His death on the Cross of Calvary. 

Kari with all the saints of all time and place, with her baptism not only is baptized into Jesus Christ life and death, she is also baptized into His resurrection.  For when the Water and Word intimately connected washed her clean of her sins, this is where she is for all eternity connected with Jesus Christ and given life and salvation.  And as we celebrate Jesus entrance into the Holy City of Jerusalem on the colt the foal of a donkey, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David”, Kari along with all of us saints are reminded of our connection to Jesus Christ.  But it is not only connection, it is also our remembering that this is part of the plan of salvation, Jesus entrance into Jerusalem and ultimately Jesus death on Calvary for all of mankind.

For in Jesus death, we are offered eternal life.  We who are born and conceived in sin are offered eternal life through our baptism like we have done today of Kari, and are forever connected to the Jesus Christ and celebrate not that He died, but because He died our receipt of eternal life.  This is the gift of salvation that we celebrate, not only for Kari, but for all of us saints that wave our palm branches and remember Jesus entrance into the Holy City which leads to Golgotha and our being set free through His death on Calvary for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel as we begin Holy Week.  AMEN.
//trial script