March 14, 2008

Another Palm Sunday; Ho-humm...

This Sunday is traditionally known as "Palm Sunday." The name comes from the episode in the life of Jesus when the thronging crowds showered Him with accolades throwing palm fronds on the road in front of him as he entered Jerusalem. The historical occurrence is traditionally celebrated as "The Triumphal Entry."

This is ironic since the occasion would mark the beginning of the end of Jesus' life on Earth. The same crowd that cheered His arrival demanded His execution at Calvary only days later. What changed?

The crowds were not really interested in Jesus--the Promised Savior--who came into the world to die for their sins. They wanted the Jesus who miraculously put food on their plates as they hungered on a hill side. They were ready to embrace the miracle working Healer who had already healed a deaf man, raised a dead man, and tossed demons out of numerous people like so much used Kleenex in a coat pocket.

They had experienced the magic-genie-Jesus; the one they thought they could domesticate and manipulate at whim; the one they thought came to make them comfortable, healthy and happy. The Jesus they clamored for looked like the one you hear portrayed so often today as the one who exists to make us prosperous and pretty.

What they weren't interested in was a God coming in the likeness of a man yet who was fully God; a God who came, not to give us what we wanted, but what we needed. And what we needed was the cure of for our pernicious self-centeredness that placed our wills above God's.

He came to cure us not of poverty, not of poor health, not of failing marriages, not even of injustice. Those are all promises for another epoch; the day when He returns for the second time. But right now, with His first visit, all He did was cure those who believe in Him and on Him, of their sinfulness that separated them from God--for all eternity and then entered those lives with His Holy Spirit to be a constant companion and comforter as we endure a sin-filled world. That's all He did. That's all. Ho hum…Ho hum…


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