Palm Sunday, March 28
Contributed by Richard Topping
“Ride on ride on in majesty, in lowly pomp ride on to die: O Christ, thy
triumphs now begin O’er captive death and conquered sin.”
Jesus will not seize the reigns of power by brute force or shallow acclamation;
this is “the Son of Man who came not to be served, but to serve and give his
life a ransom for many.”
Dying on the cross, Jesus will deal with what ails us. On Palm Sunday, Jesus
resists the temptation to skim the surface of human need. He won’t get
caught up in hero worship. He won’t get lined up on one side against
another. His power is his strength for us – for the whole of humanity.
He becomes vulnerable in love to change our fate at great cost to
himself. This King is weak in power but strong in love. He takes on the
world’s pain and dies on a cross.
Our trouble goes deep; we need far more than personal safety and a stable
economy. We need redemption, salvation, freedom from the sort of self-interest that enflames hated, perpetuates conflict, the power to love our
enemies, to work for reconciliation.
What we are after is not a national hero who will give our group what it wants,
but one who will go to the cross to give the whole world what it needs.
Someone who can show us all how to risk following on the path of
compassion and vulnerability, to imagine what it means to live lives whose
first priority is love. In the week to come, God gives the world Jesus.
Blessed are you, Holy God, for in Jesus Christ you came to rule in our lives,
as a humble servant, riding on a donkey. Enter into our hearts this day with
your glory, that we may greet you with shouts of praise, through Christ, our
Sovereign and Saviour. Amen.
Richard Topping is Principal of Vancouver School of Theology and is the St. Andrew’s Hall
Professor of Studies in the Reformed tradition.
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