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April 14, 2019

Jesus enters Jerusalem: Palm Sunday

Luke 19:28-44 Jesus enters Jerusalem

28Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “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. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32So those who were sent departed and found it as Jesus had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37As 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, 38saying,
“Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!”
39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” 41As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43Indeed, 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. 44They 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."

A theology of the cross calls us to empty ourselves, to lay down our own vain ambitions and failings at the foot of the cross. Each day we discover parts of our self that need to die, in order to become more Christ like. But in the mystery of faith, we discover the most wonderful surprise of them all. That no matter if we join the parade with calls of “Hossanna” or if we avoid the parade all together, saying, “I am so over this…” even if we stand to condemn with shouts of “crucify him,” because in the wonder and the mystery of the cross, something amazing happens. In the power of the cross, our vain efforts transform to exclamations of “He is risen!!” For God is about to do a new thing, a wondrous thing out of our failings and short comings. Resurrection is about to happen – and the anticipation of that, is something so wondrous that even the stones can’t keep silent about. Because even our failed attempts are redeemable to God, that even when hope seems lost in our lives and our world, God has one more surprise – new life.

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