March 25, 2018 Sermon

PALM/PASSION SUNDAY, March 25, 2018, Lectionary B


The Rev. Dr. C. Clark Hubbard + Rector                                            Scripture: Mark 11:1-11


“Stretch out your hand [Oh, Lord] to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  Acts 4:30


Group Preach


Let us pray.


When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden  (see Zechariah 9:9 and Genesis 49:11); untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.


Luke 19:29 And it came about that when He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, in which as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it, and bring it here. 31 “And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ thus shall you speak, ‘The Lord has need of it.'” 32 And those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and they threw their garments on the colt, and put Jesus on it. 36 And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road. 37 And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”


It is a little difficult to relate to this morning’s gospel.  Obviously, it stands at the head of Jesus entering the holy city of Jerusalem on what has come to be known as Palm Sunday. This is the beginning of Holy Week.


Jesus sent two of his disciples to hail him a cab figuratively speakinng.  While it might look as if He is being prophetic in knowing that the colt would be there, He could just as easily have made reservations with the owner to use it. Notice the owner is not mentioned. He did not object to the untying of the colt, but bystanders did.


Yet, Jesus is also fulfilling prophecy by arriving on a colt.  Long ago it had been foretold that the saviour, the messiah, would arrive, riding a colt.  Might the same be said of you and me?  It was foretold that Jesus would enter our lives on what steed at what place at what time in our lives.


Jesus arrives into Jerusalem with no pretense.  Unlike the kings of His day, there is no great entourage accompanying Him, no security team.  He did not ride in on a big white stallion, but a humble colt.  The sight might even have looked rather silly-big Jesus on this little animal.  If you have seen the version of Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey, Jr, you may remember a scene where the group he is with, including Dr. Watson, is travelling across country.  All are riding a horse, except Holmes, who apparently is afraid of them.  He instead rides a pony, his feet virtually dragging the ground.  It is a ridiculous-looking sight.


Where do we see Jesus coming into our lives?  How shall He ride in and under what circumstances?  Has He already reserved a beast of burden by which to enter?


How might we bring Jesus into the lives of others