Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

     In Mark 11:1-11  We read about Jesus entering Jerusalem on what became known as Palm Sunday during the week of His crucifixion.
     As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethpage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden…”When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, He sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!”  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”  “Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple.  He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
     Jesus the Son of God entered the Temple as a somewhat notorious carpenter from Galilee. He looked around at everything, taking it all in.  The Temple would have been crowded with people who had come to make a Passover sacrifice. There would have been the buzzing hum of the crowd,  punctuated by the cries from  the moneychangers.  Lambs bleating.  Smoke rising from the sacrificial altars.  
     When Jesus, the Son of God, entered the Temple,  there were parts of it that would have been barred to him.  Only a person making a sacrifice could be admitted into the Court of the Priests, and then only to sacrifice their lamb.  The person would then be pushed aside to give room for the next person to make their sacrifice.  But Jesus, who was Himself the lamb, did not bring a sacrifice, and so the Court of the Priests would have been closed off to Him.
     The most sacred space of all within the Temple, the inner sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, was also prohibited to Jesus.  Only the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies.
     Jesus entered the Temple and looked around and because it was late, He left.  And it was late.  The crucifixion loomed just a few short days away.  At Jesus’ death the Temple curtain in the Holy of Holies would be torn in two by the very hand of God, signifying that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
     Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on a lonesome cross, every one of us has access to the very heart of God.  We can fall into the embrace of a loving God through our forgiveness in Jesus.  Sometimes we like to think that God only sees our cleaned up church selves, but He also sees our Monday morning pre-coffee self, too.  He sees all the secret places of our heart.
  Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever!  Amen.   ~Rev.  1:5-6
     Won’t you allow Jesus in to the temple of your heart?  The time is growing late.

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