Posted on Sun, Mar 29, 2015
Mark 11:1–11 & Mark 15:1-47 (Palm Sunday)
March 29, 2015
Gospel Text: Mark 11:1–11 “A King on a Colt!”
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.” ’ 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
`10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Jesus before Pilate
As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’ 3 Then the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 Pilate asked him again, ‘Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.’ 5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
Pilate Hands Jesus over to Be Crucified
6 Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. 7 Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. 8 So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. 9 Then he answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ 10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. 12 Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?’ 13 They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’ 14 Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’ 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
16 Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. 18 And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ 19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. 20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews.’ 27 And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. 29 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!’ 31 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.’ Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
The Death of Jesus
33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 35When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ 36And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ 37Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’
40 There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
The Burial of Jesus
42 When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. 45 When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.
On Friday night, Yuriko and I went to a “Home Improvement” show at the Blaisdell Exhibit Center. Our house is in desperate need of new windows among many other things an older townhouse needs, but I was fixed on finding someone who would give us a good price on windows, NOW. My expectations were hopeful, probably because the real need to replace our present deteriorating windows.
As we walked in, I new there would be three companies exhibiting, and we walked straight to the first booth we saw. I know you should never trust your emotions, but inside my head as I listened to this guy, I was immediately sold. Why go on I thought? But then, I caught my senses and realized we needed to be smart and check out the other companies. Each time I listened to the salesperson, I thought the same thing! “SOLD! Why go on?”
I am a salespersons dream… a true sucker!
It is a good thing I am married to a very smart person! We didn’t sign anything, yet.
But because I caught myself thinking emotionally rather than logically, it caused me to think about the people in today’s two Gospel texts. Do you realize that the same people who welcomed Jesus as a King into Jerusalem singing, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
`10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” They were truly anticipating Jesus to be the New, yet same as the King David of old, and by the next day the same people were screaming for blood saying, “Crucify Him?”
How can people go from one extreme to the other in such a short time? What was going on in their heads, and how did Jesus disappoint the people so severely that they so willingly followed their leaders and demanded Jesus’ death so soon after welcoming Jesus as their king? Especially when all they have been hearing over the past years is how Jesus of Nazareth was able to heal the sick, bring sight to the blind, comfort the afflicted and rejected, and even raise the dead, but now they just want him to suffer and die?
The people imagined they were truly welcoming Jesus as a great General King like their glorious king of the past, King David. You could hear that in their welcoming song. `10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
In reality, they were out for blood. They had been living under the cruel boot/sandal of the Romans for too long, and they had been manipulated by the religious leaders for too long to maintain the ‘Temple System.’ Jesus was their great hope to remove the Romans by any means possible, the more Romans dead the better; And to restore the greatness of Israel. Pride and the desire for retribution were the strongest factors in the reversal of their allegiance to Jesus.
When they found out that Jesus was about bringing God’s judgment and mercy into the world through Jesus’ death, not the Romans’ defeat and ultimate death… they felt let down, betrayed, and angry. Someone would have to pay for their dashed expectations and desire for revenge and blood.
The concept of Jesus as a “humble servant” kind of King, or a King of mercy and forgiveness, were the furthest from their minds, and the religious leaders didn’t make it any better. They were the most determined to have Jesus crucified as they saw him as a threat to their way of life and their ‘temple-system.’ Pilate even tried to give the people a convicted murder in place of Jesus, but the people were even more determined to have Jesus crucified.
Did you ever think about the name, “Barabbas?” The easy translation is, “Of the Father,” but the “father” part is not like our mother and father, meaning but of a father beyond human relationship, but something more divine and ‘all providing father’ … something like, “God.”
What does today’s text have for us in 2015? The fact that the same people who welcomed Jesus on one day, and then wanted to crucify him on the next, shows us how fickle and sheep-like humans can be. There was a plan in place, and just like the colt, being in the right place at the right time according to Jesus’ plan, there wasn’t time for quiet introspection and proper evaluation of the situation for the people of Jerusalem… their response was purely emotional filled with anger at feeling betrayed, and the desire for retribution. But for us, as Easter People living within the Spirit of God, and the Good News that we have been forgiven and made new through the Cross of Christ, we have time to sit, pray, confess and hear forgiveness, and work and speak as Jesus would have us work and speak in a very troubled and dangerous world.
As many of you know, I have been thinking, and frankly I have been very troubled by all the violence in the Middle East and Africa. And upon hearing rhetoric of war and the drumbeat of preparing for war by some of our leaders against, for example, the country of Iran, I am very concerned that we have not learned much from history. I don’t have any answers, but the one conclusion I have is that as Christians, we need to be a voice of reason, wisdom and constantly be searching for the ways of peace without the need to resort to violence, no matter how much we cannot forget the treachery of the past (the storming of the American Embassy and the taking of hostages), we cannot act on emotions and feelings of retribution.
Violence only brings more violence, and someone needs to be the first to find a different option, this is what the blessings of a peacemaker can be. I pray that God’s word of ultimate love and God’s willingness to value for all human life on the level of God’s Son, must be a message that can change the world.
When a bomb is dropped for whatever reason, we all know that human nature will demand the same reaction with a more violent response is required or expected. The people demanded Jesus’ blood and death… and Jesus GAVE it to them, not out of spite, but for the sake of making the greatest gift of unconditional love, mercy and justice real for them and us.
Lent is the season we have been given to reflect on who we are, and who the human race is, as a broken and fallen race dependent on the gift of Jesus going to the cross for the sake of our forgiveness and salvation. We can’t let emotions control our actions, but we can control our actions through the Gifts of the Spirit. Rather than an emotional reaction filled with spite or rage, the Spirit wishes to lead us to a quiet place to pray and contemplate the truth, that through the death of One Man, the world has been forgiven and loved. Amen.
No messages have been posted.
You must first create an account to post.