Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Notes for Sunday Message: Second Sunday in Lent; Triumphant Entry or Palm Sunday

This Sunday is the second Sunday in Lent. We will continue our journey to the foot of the Crooss when we look at Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into the City of Jerusalem.

This weeks’ Readings are Zech 9:9-13; John 12:12-19

You can read these Scriptures here: NIV2010 // CEB

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Today is the second Sunday of Lent, and we will continue looking at the events that took place during the last week of Jesus’ life.

Today we will look at Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem just five days before he was crucified. On this day people spread their garments on the road to make a royal carpet for his entry. It was a day when people waved palm branches to greet him, and crowds cheered, “Save Us! Hosanna! Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven! Hosanna! Save us!”

To better understand the events of that day, we need to read the Gospels to find out what events led up to this day.

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In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke we learn that this triumphant entry into Jerusalem is preceded by Jesus’ transfiguration, which was followed by a short period of ministry during which Jesus continued to teach and heal, and time spent with His inner circle of friends and disciples during which Jesus explained the significance of his own upcoming sacrifice and death.

If we look at the Gospel of John, there is no record of Jesus’ transfiguration. Instead, John tells us that prior to entering Jerusalem (recorded in John 12: 12-19) Jesus grieved Lazarus’ death and then raised Lazarus from the grave (recorded in John 11).

On a side note: I think that John did not record the event of transfiguration because in John’s Gospel, Jesus is the “Light of the World” (John 1:14, 18; 8:12), Jesus is in a constant state of transfiguration.

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So we know that Jesus’ transfiguration occurred, there was a period of teaching and healing, culminating in Lazarus being raised from the dead just before Jesus’ triumphant entry.

With that in mind let us listen to the reading from the Gospel of John once more.

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NIV2010 John 12:12-18 Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! [which means “Save Us”],” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!,” “Blessed is the King of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him.

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The Gospel of John makes it clear that “many people” (John 12:18) came only because they had heard of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Think about it: God came to live among us and to offer each of us “abundant life,” and all that the people were interested in was, “he knows how to do some really cool tricks.” The true reason for Jesus coming to this earth was “hidden from their eyes” (Luke 19:42).

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NIV2019 Luke 19:41-42

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

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All of us can relate to that. Who among us has not celebrated someone or something as having the potential to save us and solve our problems?

{Illustration from the personal practice of ministry.}

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Who among us has never been disappointed in our hopes and expectations? Who among us has not been misunderstood or misquoted? That is how Jesus felt when he was getting ready to enter Jerusalem. Think about it…people on the streets and even his friends and disciples did not understand yet what was happening. “Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize…” (John 12:16).

Who among us can truthfully say that they have never disappointed their parents, their family, their friends, Jesus?

The events of the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem on his way to the Cross remind us that we are not perfect and that quite often we misunderstand and disappoint each other and even Jesus.

The events of that day remind us that all of us have a past that we cannot change: the past with its triumphs and disappointments, accomplishments and mistakes and misunderstandings. The events of that day also give us hope that all of us have a future in which we can be changed so that there less mistakes and misunderstandings and more accomplishments. The events of that day challenge us to ask ourselves, “what is hidden from my eyes?” (Luke 19:42). The events of that day call us to grow in our discipleship and service to God because we are on a journey and every day of that journey is an opportunity

  • to love God deeper,

  • to learn to see God in the world around us better, and

  • to be more conscientious in following God’s teachings and directions for our lives.

May God Bless our journey! May God Bless Christ United Methodist Church!

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