Sermon - March 28, 2021 - St. Martin's In the Desert

Sermon – March 28, 2021

Palm Sunday 2021


ALIGHTY and ever living God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:1-15:47 or 15-1-39 (40-47)

“In the silence of our hearts or in spoken words let us give thanks for the gift of this day and pray for the life of the world.” (from Celtic Treasure)
“You have shown us the way of compassion, O Christ.
You have shown us the heart of kindness.
Awaken the depths of compassion in us.
That we may be alive to one another’s suffering.
Awaken the heart of kindness in us that we may be truly alive.” (From Celtic Treasure)

This Sunday’s Liturgy goes from the celebration of the palms to the despair of the Passion. The drama of the events is heightened by the assumption that the same people who shout HOSANNA! Today will be the same shouting CRUCIFY HIM! On Friday.

John’s Gospel tells the story, Jesus, planned the demonstration as a deliberate challenge to the temple leaders. Pilgrims normally walk to Jerusalem. Jesus had planned with disciples in Judea to have a donkey tethered for him in the village on Mount Olives with a password. “The Lord has need of him.” The donkey when retrieved was draped with cloaks.
The pilgrims from Galilee would have been carrying palms for the festivities. Palms were spread on the road as Jesus passed. The prearrangement also included his disciples coming to escort their prophet whom they regarded as the Messiah. This was a celebration for Jesus “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
What else does this coming week have to tells us?

Have you ever looked at a cross as a gift from God! What are the other gifts from God, what of the nails, the crown of thorns? The garments taken by the soldiers.

Maybe we need to take time to open these gifts in this coming week. By being nailed to the cross, Jesus canceled the record that contained all our sins and charges against us. When the nails placed Jesus on the cross there had to be a list of our mistakes: our lust and lies and greedy moments dangling from that cross is our list of our sins. Jesus knew the price of our sins was death, he could not bear the thought of eternity without us, he chose the nails. Had the soldier hesitated Jesus would have swung the hammer…….Look at it like this quote “He chose the Nails” (From the book He chose the nails).

“Jesus himself swung the hammer. The same hand that cleansed the Temple, cleanses your heart. The hand is the hand of God. The nail is the nail of God.” What was Jesus thinking or feeling on that cross. He was not guilty; He had not committed a sin. But he wore our sin so we could wear righteousness. Think about going to the cross wearing our sin and leaving wearing Jesus’ righteousness, dressed in the “coat of his strong love and blessed with goodness and fairness, and clothed in salvation.”

During this coming week with all the activities; remember as you look to the cross on the altar, the beautiful gift that we have been blessed with.