March 20, 2016 — Palm Sunday
Sermon Text — John 12:12-19
In the Name X of Jesus. AMEN!
Beloved in the Lord,
We are all Children Today
Today, we are all children sitting on the shoulders of our forefathers waiting, watching, and singing as the Son of David approaches. Today, we are all pilgrims lining the streets of Holy Zion waving our palms, bowing our heads, chanting our praise. Today we are all sons of Abraham, baptized into Christ, washed in the blood, redeemed by the Lamb. Behold! The Savior approaches! Lift up your heads and see! David’s son and David’s Lord draws near! Hear the hymns of saints and angels! Those who’ve gone before and those who’ve come after lend their voices. The Father beckons His glory! The crowds thunder their praise. The disciples remember the scripture. The Pharisees murmur against and plot His death. The Romans watch with anxious curiosity, with one hand on the spear and the other on the sword. Here comes Jesus, the son of Mary, the begotten of the Father. Here comes the Lamb, the sacrifice to end all sacrifice. Here comes Yeshua Natzareth, Jesus of Nazareth, the raiser of the dead.
Today He enters Jerusalem as her King. Today He steps closer to Calvary. For the axe has readied the wood for the burnt offering. The Word made flesh has gone out from His heavenly chamber and seeks the redemption of His bride – the daughter of Zion. He comes unto His own? Will His own receive Him? They did not then. Will you now? He comes in humility, on a colt. The crowds laid their garments before His path. Will confess your sins? He comes in Love. Will you believe? These things are written, these things are preached, that you may believe on His name and by believing have eternal life.
An Unworthy Bride
Jesus comes for both Jew and Gentile, slave and free, man and woman, infant and elderly. He comes for one. He comes for all. His comes for you that you too should be joined to Him like a bridegroom to His bride. But His bride has been abused. His people have been misled. His beloved exploited and oppressed. The Devil, the world and our own sinful nature have had the best of us, ruled us with fear and anxiety, taught us to trust in horses, chariots, princes, MEN! We have followed their lead, indulged in their drink, consumed their mammon. Rust and moth have eaten away our treasures. Worms have spoiled our bread. Our souls are dried up as a potsherd. By the sweat of our brow we labor day in and day out with little show for it. We bear a heavy burden, a burden we were not created to bear. Our sins weigh us down and trouble our conscience. We are unclean and our hearts know it. We have returned to the trough of this world only to find the dog’s vomit awaiting us. We suffer a horrible curse! The grave awaits us. Who will save us from this wretched body of death? Who would dare die for a sinful person like me, like you, like them? Would Caiaphas? Pilate? Or Herod? Would Donald, Hillary, Bernie or Ted? No! Put not your trust in princes nor the Sons of Men, for the sons and daughters of Adam cannot forgive sins, nor conquer death. They cannot save. Their strength is too weak. Their arms are too short. Their vows are long on words as they babble on the street corner or pontificate from their stages offering spoiled bread and poisoned drink, mammon which is sweet to the flesh but sours the soul.
Who is the King of Glory
Lend your ears to the Word beloved! Listen to the evangelist! Hear the prophet! “Fear not, daughter of Zion! Behold! Your king is coming to you riding on a colt the foal of a donkey,” even David’s son and David’s Lord. He is Yeshua Meshiach, Jesus the Messiah! He is no gentile ruler, nor an elected official. He is your King, the king of Kings and Lord of lords. He draws near to lift you out of the pit of despair. The advent of your redemption rides upon a colt, the foal of a donkey. He bears no sword except the sword of the Spirit. He brings no army, save the poor and the lame, the destitute, the widow, and their children. He loves sinners and delights Himself with their presence. Thus He comes in love. Thus He comes to save. Who is the King of glory! The Lord strong and mighty! Who is the King of Glory? The Lord mighty in battle. Your King is coming,
coming to fight the cosmic enemies of your soul,
coming to wrestle sin into death,
coming to conquer the grave from the inside,
coming to bear His right arm and His left,
coming to be stretched out on the wood as a sin offering,
coming to save both Jew and Gentile, slave and free, man and woman, infant and elderly. He is coming to Jerusalem to be established on His throne, a throne of wood. And above His head will read, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. His coronation will be one of mockery. Thorns will adorn His brow. Leather will stripe His back. Iron will pierce His flesh. Blood will anoint the altar and sanctify the earth. The King will die for his subjects. The bridegroom will be crucified for His bride. The promises will be fulfilled! Sinners will be rescued. The grave shall forever lose its sting when Jesus rises on the third day!
Drawn near by the Blood (be not offended by His passion but draw near in the water)
Oh, beloved, listen to the Holy Word this morning and let your soul feast on this heavenly bread! Taste and see that the Lord is good! For all that is necessary for your eternal redemption has been accomplished! All that is needed for your heavenly nuptials has been purchased! The path for your triumphal entry into paradise has been blazed by one who loves you and has given Himself into death for you. Scarcely will a righteous man die for someone but while we were still sinners Christ Jesus died and is risen for us, for you and me and for all! His resurrection is the certain salvation of your wretched body of death. Therefore do not be offended by His passion! Do not stumble over His cross nor be scandalized by the depths of His love you in the shedding of His blood. Jesus was lifted up to draw people to Himself! Approach the font of His passion and remember your baptism into Christ. Draw near the body of the Lord. Feast on His flesh! Drink of His blood! Abide in His Word for His word endures forever. He forgives you your sins. He washes away your spots, stains, and blemishes. He pledges a good conscience before God. He adorns you with His coat of many colors and promises you life, new life, eternal life. For Jesus has come that you may have life and have it abundantly, your cup filled to the brim, even overflowing into the lives of others! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow the faithful all the days of their lives.
We are all Pilgrims
Beloved in the Lord, who is the one stirring the crowd? Who fills the multitudes’ hearts with praise? Who gifts them with palm branches, acts as the commander of the righteous, heralds the coming Messiah, loosens the tongues of babes? From mouth of babes the Lord has ordained praise! From the heavens above the Spirit has been poured out. It is this same Holy Spirit who today calls unto each and every one of you to repent and believe the gospel, the same Spirit who you received unto the water and poured within you the love of God.
Today your commander bids you follow the Lord of Hosts, Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord of the heavenly armies!
Today Jesus marches into battle.
Today Jesus redeems His bride with blood.
Today He conquers sin through death.
Today death is vanquished!
Today the gates of hell are burst open.
Thus today, we are all children singing our Hosannas.
Today we are all pilgrims gathered to celebrate the coming Pasch.
Today we are the redeemed, washed in the blood.
And so, today we sing, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna to our coming King! Blessed He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” For Today is the day of salvation! AMEN!
The peace which surpasses all understanding keep your heart and mind through faith in Christ Jesus. AMEN!