Friday, March 31, 2023

Palm Sunday: "Who Is This Who Comes?"

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Who Is This Who Comes?

The factual answer is "Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet from Galilee, the virgin-born son of Mary and the stepson of Joseph, the carpenter.” That is an honest, truthful answer. 

It is certainly not all there is about Palm Sunday, and it is not all there is to say about Jesus, but it is an honest answer. It is a factual answer. The one who comes is Jesus. God in the flesh. 

It is possible to know Jesus as a man, as a person like ourselves. But to know Jesus as a man is not to know the full meaning of His life nor to understand the significance of His purpose.

Some thoughts about Jesus and Palm Sunday.

Be informed, not misled.

Some are frustrated and confused over who Jesus really is. 

The preacher’s child was called in to wash up before dinner after an afternoon of play. Like all boys, he wanted to know why he needed to wash. The mother’s reply was typical. “Son, we have to wash to get rid of the germs.” The boy responded with disgust, “Germs and Jesus. Jesus and germs. That’s all I hear about around here. And I’ve never seen either one.”

Who is this who comes, whom we have not seen?

Jesus walked down the road from Bethany and Bethpage to Jerusalem amidst the shouts and the exuberant joy of the crowds---and the not-so-enthusiastic. He walked toward the fulfillment of His destined goal. He did walk it all alone. And He walked it as the unique and only begotten Son of God.

But Jesus also walked that road as the firstborn of many children, the children of God. He walked that road as the leader of that great parade in which you and I also participate as believers. We follow Him in this walk.

That traditional spiritual tune captures the meaning of this great personal truth:

Jesus walked this lonesome valley,

He had to walk it by himself,

O, nobody else could walk it for him,

He had to walk it by himself.

We must walk this lonesome valley,

We have to walk it by ourselves,

O, nobody else can walk it for us,

We have to walk it by ourselves.

If we are to be the bearers of Christ’s spirit in the world, you and I must also walk that road through the crowds, noise, and dissenters that claim our attention. 

You and I must pass through the temptations and distractions of the valleys as we continue to walk on toward the fulfillment of the purposes of God. We must walk toward our very own times and places of total commitment, taking up our own crosses of self-giving.

Palm Sunday challenges all of us to the fulfillment of the purposes of God. Palm Sunday calls us to a life with Christ. Palm Sunday challenges us to complete that journey with our Lord, leading us to full commitment and discipleship in His ways.

A great future is before us when we move from the side of the road, from being spectators to following after Him! 

Who Is This Who Comes?

It is Jesus of Nazareth, the prophet from Galilee.

It is Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Could it not also be, must it not also be, you and I? Must it not also be each of us on the way to a life that makes us like Him?

Hosanna? Or Crucify Him?  Follow Him? Or Fail Him?

Palm Sunday is a time of personal reflection.

Be Blessed.