5th April 2020 - Palm Sunday
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
Unfortunately, we cannot meet either as a Corps or with other churches this year to celebrate Palm Sunday or, indeed, Holy Week. Consequently, I have decided to share some thoughts with you.
As I was considering the meaning of Palm Sunday I was led to the following words:-
Peace, Power and Purpose.
The fact that Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a foal of a donkey was a sign that He was coming in peace. This was especially significant to a country which, although under the Pax Romana, had suffered many times from invasion and internal strife. Even the peace which was being enforced by the Romans was an uneasy one. It finally came to an end about 70 years later as was predicted by Jesus. However, we learn that the peace really brought to the world was at a much deeper level than absence of war or the measure of peace after quarrelling has stopped and agreement reached. The peace Jesus has promised is not as the world gives and was not only bequeathed to his disciples but to all who truly love him.
Palm Sunday also illustrated Christ’s power. He dared to come to a place which meant danger to him – the next day he enraged the Temple Authorities by upturning the money tables in the Temple area and driving out the animals which were being sold for sacrifice and denouncing the Priests and other officials by saying,
"My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers."
Jesus also demonstrated his power at the time of his arrest. When the soldiers and the temple officials were questioned by Jesus as to whom they were looking for and confirmed his identity they fell away from him, Jesus, however permitted them to make the arrest. Earlier during Christ’s ministry attempts had been made to both kill him and arrest him but because Jesus knew the time was not right evaded those who tried to do these things.
Jesus again showed his power by refusing to be intimidated by those who questioned him during his so-called trials and later whilst on the cross demonstrated his power to forgive. Ultimately his resurrection showed that he had power even over death and that he had the power to offer hope to all who believe in him.
I like a turn of phrase used in the King James Version of the Bible. Luke 9:51 reads,
Even as a child he had a sense of his destiny. When Mary and Joseph came back to Temple searching for Him he replied,
"Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?"
John confirmed something of the destiny of Jesus by declaring, "Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." And went on to say of Jesus that he would baptise with the Holy Spirit. Furthermore Jesus at his baptism said to John, "It is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness."
Then there was the confirming voice from Heaven, "This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased." During his time in the wilderness whilst being tempted by Satan he revealed something of his purpose in the way that he defeated the devil by resisting the various temptations. In his first recorded message he read from Isaiah and then said, "Today this Scripture is being fulfilled in your hearing." In his teachings during Holy Week he made something of his purpose known both to those who gathered to listen to Him and especially to his disciples in the intimacy of the upper room.
Lord help us to be purposeful in our living for you. Fill us with your Spirit’s power and may we not only know your peace in our lives but help us to share your plea and love to others.
As an exercise for today I would like you to refer to the following scriptures to see how the peace, power and purpose of Christ was revealed in some of the Old Testament prophecies:
| Isaiah 42:1 | Isaiah 53 | Isaiah 61:1 | Zechariah 9:9 | Zechariah 11:12 |
Meanwhile let us in these difficult days seek the Peace that only God can give, claim his power through the Holy Spirit and endeavour to work out his purpose in our lives.
May God bless you and keep you,
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore.
'Hosanna' - Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters - Listen here
Thank you for reading.
Written by Peter K.
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