Monday, April 14, 2014

Matthew 21:1-11 (ESV)

1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

5 “Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Henry Parry Liddon, an Oxford don in Victorian England, reminds us that popularity is a weak reed indeed.

“Many a man must have cried ‘Crucify,’ who had cried ‘Hosannah!’ on the previous Sunday; and in each case only because the majority of other people whom he saw about him on those very different days had cried ‘Hosannah!’ or ‘Crucify!’ before him.”

“Where you there when they nailed him to the tree?” I, for one, certainly was.

Our loss of spiritual health admits none but a supernatural remedy. Consider what the Father holds out to us through His Son. It was the Son

Who his own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sin, should live unto righteousness (l Pet. 2:24).

To live aligned with our Lord, what ought we to strive for above all else?

We are to be gentle, merciful, peacemaking, pure of heart, athirst for God’s righteousness, inwardly poor and humble. These are the ingredients for constructing a road leading away from the futility of all earthly things.

What does it take to undertake such a journey, to join such a work party?

For the late theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar, that would be “the courage shown by Jesus Christ when he rode into Jerusalem to meet his crucifixion, to bear fruit only after having undergone the cross.”

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.