Palmarum (Palm Sunday)
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Delivered By
Pr. Mark D. Lovett
Delivered On
March 24, 2013
Central Passage
Matthew 26:1 - 27:66
Description

 

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Son of David rode into the holy city in pomp and triumph, in majesty amid shouts of “Hosanna” – the Lord saves.

And in order to save, He allowed Himself to be led out of the holy city in shame and defeat, amid shouts of “Crucify! Crucify!” The Lord saves.

The Lord saves both those who welcomed Him with palm branches and praise as well as those who welcomed Him with fists and hatred. The Lord saves. For this reason He came into the world: to save us from our sins. To save us from the death we deserve: separation from God. That is the reason for the Christ; that is the reason for the Cross.

The Lord did not come for glory and honor but to glorify and honor His Father by being obedient even unto death on a cross. He didn’t come to be worshiped and adored, except that He is worshipped and adored as the crucified one; the Lamb of God that takes away thei sin of the world.

So He didn’t stay with the crowd that welcomed Him with palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna to the King” but went on to the crowd that would see Him crucified. For by His death He brought obedience to men, to you and me. By His death He destroyed death.

That’s why we highlight Holy Week so much and gather so often during it. That’s why we have all the ceremony of veiled crosses and palm processions and darkened churches and candles, to focus our hearts and minds on Him who came from heaven to die the sinner’s death and by His death save you from your sins.

It is good to hear the Passion narrative, to sit and listen to the holy words that tell us of our Savior’s love. It is good to gather, to walk the road from darkness to light, from tomb to resurrection, from death to life. It is good to be here where we see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven.

The Lord is seated at the right hand of Power, and that is where He gathers us, at the right hand of Power, the right hand of the Father. This is where Jesus sits enthroned in glory, among His people, seen and unseen. Here is the right hand of Power, here is the throne room of the Lord God Almighty from whence He blesses His people and makes His face to shine upon you; Here He lifts His countenance upon you and gives you peace.

Here at the right hand of Power the Lord Jesus gives you the fruit of His labors, the fruit of His tree, the cross; the fruit of life and salvation given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. The clouds of heaven are not the white fluffy collections of dust and water molecules that rain down snow and block the sun. The clouds of heaven is the Lord’s gathering in every time and place, spread out over all the earth like so many clouds covering the earth, casting the shadow of the crucifix on the children of men and raining down the Word of God to water the earth. In these clouds, like this one here, the world sees the Son of Man coming, bringing righteousness and salvation to the children of men, making known the righteousness of God in Jesus.

It is good to gather, to be gathered by the Lord. Not merely for ceremony and ritual, and certainly not for any re-enactments – nothing the Church does is a re-enactment but is always a confession of the acts of God among men – it is good to gather and to be gathered because this is the Lord’s gathering, heaven on earth, the place of His dwelling. This is the new Jerusalem, the heavenly and truly holy city. This is the right hand of Power and the mercy seat of God.

Behold, O Zion, your King comes to you in the clouds of heaven, righteous is He and having salvation … for you, to the glory of God the Father.

+ In Nomine Iesu +