Presentation on theme: "Palm Sunday. Holy Week is one of the most sacred times of the year for Christians. During the week, the Church prepares for the most important festivals."— Presentation transcript:
Holy Week is one of the most sacred times of the year for Christians. During the week, the Church prepares for the most important festivals of the Church year.
Read Matthew 21:1-11
21When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Why did the people welcome Jesus so enthusiastically? What made their welcome misguided and hollow?
Jesus was welcomed into the city as their King. The people joyfully shouted, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” The people of Jerusalem believed that Jesus was the promised one who would give them hope.
The people of Jerusalem believed that Jesus was the one who would give them their freedom from their Roman oppressors and usher in a time of peace and prosperity in their troubled land.
But the celebration did not last. In a few short days the shouts of “Hosanna to the King” would turn to shouts of “Crucify”.
After Jesus had entered the city everyone waited for something special to happen, and when nothing happened, the people felt betrayed and disappointed.
Their new King did not recruit an army, their new King did not give speeches to unite the people against the Romans and their new King did not announce the beginning of a new regime and the beginning of God’s Kingdom in their midst.
When the people had heard that Jesus had been arrested and that Jesus was facing death for treason the people again filled the streets and shouted “Crucify Him, Crucify Him” because Jesus had not done what they had wanted him to do.
Read John 19:1-7
19Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. 3 They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”
Why did the people turn against Jesus? The people turned against Jesus because the “King of Kings” did not meet their expectations. The “Lord of Lords” did not carry out what they wanted him to accomplish.
The people of Jerusalem see God’s Kingdom in the events that occurred in what we now know as Holy Week.
The people of Jerusalem did not understand that Christ’s Glory was not to be in what we would call greatness but in what we would call servant-hood.
The people of Jerusalem did not understand that Jesus came not to be served but to serve.
During Holy Week Jesus served humanity when He washed the feet of His disciples and when He instituted a new meal for our benefit at the Last Supper and when He gave Humanity a new Commandment to love one another as he had loved us and when He offered himself on the cross for us and for our redemption.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians states it so well: “Of his own free will he (Jesus) gave up all that he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death, his death on the cross.”
At the heart of Christ’s work was the humble, self-sacrificing desire to serve. The Palm Sunday King did not want to dominate, but to provide. The Palm Sunday King did not come to put his needs first, but our needs first, even if it meant giving up his life.
The people of Jerusalem should have known better. For in the Old Testament, Isaiah described the Messiah as “The Suffering Servant”.
Isaiah stated, “The Savior would endure the suffering that should have be ours, and the pain that we should have endured… Because of our sins he will be wounded and beaten because of the evil that we do… He will be treated harshly, but will endure it humbly; and he will not say a word.”
The events of Holy Week do prove that “The King of Glory” was treated cruelly at the hands of his creation. The King of Glory was mocked, and spit upon, and whipped, and nailed to a cross. The King of Glory died a shameful death.
And the King of Glory allowed it all to happen because of his love for you and me and because of his desire to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
As we begin our journey through Holy Week, I encourage everyone to reflect upon the way Christ gave himself completely and wholly for us, and to be aware of the ways we have failed to be a servant to our neighbor, and to spend some time standing before the cross in wonder and thanksgiving for what Christ has done for us.
God’s great plan was reaching its climax. Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem as the Messiah, the Son of David.
Jesus came as king to suffer and to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. God would establish his everlasting kingdom through the death of his Son.
Jesus gave the Lord’s Supper as the Sacrament of His body and blood. Through this sacred meal, God’s people receive His love and forgiveness, and proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.