On The Road To Calvary
This Palm Sunday Sermon reminds us that the road to Jerusalem’s celebration was also the road to Calvary.
28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30″Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ”
32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38″Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40″I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
The Illusion of Victory
We know this story that we celebrate today. It’s the story of Palm Sunday, Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Luke transports us back in time to the last week in the earthly ministry of Jesus. And what a week it will be!
With his instructions to the disciples to go and find the colt in the village, Jesus seems to be doing exactly what his disciples expect him to do — take charge, make a bold statement, enter Jerusalem as the Messiah that he is.
And, so the colt is brought to Jesus. The disciples create a makeshift saddle, layering their cloaks on the colt’s back. And Jesus rides this colt into Jerusalem.
The crowds in Jerusalem have swelled to several hundred thousand, crowding the streets of Jerusalem as pilgrims and residents of the city prepare for The Feast of Passover, the most memorable feast in the history of the Jewish people.