By their narrowed eyes and over-the-shoulder glances, the sixth-grade boys made it very plain that they did not appreciate my presence in the classroom, especially since I was standing behind them where I could see their laptop screens and monitor their conversation. I was “just a substitute teacher” in the room, but my role that day was to support their learning. And they had realized that was what I intended to do.
I’m a friendly presence in the hallways, and they like me well enough from a distance. Unfortunately, I really couldn’t do my job from a distance. Today, as we celebrate Palm Sunday and Jesus’s triumphal entry to the city of Jerusalem, we observe a Messiah who came in close. All of Jesus’s helping, healing, and teaching in first century Palestine represented God as One who longs to be near, to come alongside.
Today, as we celebrate Palm Sunday and Jesus’s triumphal entry to the city of Jerusalem, we observe a Messiah who came in close. However, the time had come for GOD WITH US to reveal himself as GOD OVER US.Tweet
However, the time had come for God with us to reveal himself as God over us, and for his big, overarching mission to be clear and unmistakable, Jesus had to land in Jerusalem. For his audience, Jerusalem was where rulers showed up, and so he showed up, riding on a colt.
Clearly, his intent and his identity were not lost on the crowds lining the busy streets:
Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!'”Matthew 21:8-9
If anyone had missed the point of Jesus’s ministry, he offered further clarification when he ransacked the temple and drove out the buyers and the sellers. Who else but God Almighty would dare to call THE temple “my house?”
Welcome Jesus as Ruler!
Jesus had come to rule. As the Gospel accounts testify, his path to reigning over all creation was a circuitous one and very unexpected, even to those who knew him well. We, however, with our New Testament insights, have no excuse for missing the point. Christ entered Jerusalem and he enters our lives to assert the rule of God–over us and over all creation!
How will you welcome Jesus on Palm Sunday 2021?
Will you be distracted by dog and pony shows that are less demanding?
Will you be angry because his arrival interferes with your own well-laid plans?
Will you welcome him with joy, laying your heart and your life at his feet in worship?
Make no mistake about it: Christ came to rule, and one day “every knee shall bow… and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
Is Jesus welcome to make another Palm Sunday entrance in your life today?
Holding you in the light,
Christ entered Jerusalem, and he enters our lives to assert the rule of God–over us and over all creation!Tweet
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