S-1426 Palm S/3A 4/13/2014 Hymns: (O) #160 vv 1-3; S #658: LS 161; 316; 307; (C) #160 vv 4-5
Texts: Isaiah 50:1-9; Philippians 2:5-9; John 12:20-43
Theme: “Marching Unto Death” (Isaiah 50:4-6)
Question: “Have you marched for a cause?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! Alleluia! The text for Palm Sunday is from the O.T. Lesson: “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God Has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. I gave My back to those who strike, and My cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not My face from disgrace and spitting” (Isaiah 50:4-6).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Beloved saints in Christ Palm Sunday is a day that allows us to enter with Jesus into the Holy city-Jerusalem and behold the heaven-sent Savior marching unto death—death on the cross for us-for you. Palm Sunday ushers us into the most sacred, solemn and serious time in the life of Jesus to earn our salvation. Palm Sunday permits us to be with the throng and walk along the path and observe to what extent Jesus would march to free us, give us faith and guarantee our future. His march leads Him to the crucifixion on a Roman cross, the grave and the empty tomb for us—for you.
Throughout man’s history there have been many who were forced to march to death. Under the cruel Roman Emperor Nero, a law was put in place which stated: That if a slave kills his master; all of the slaves in the household would be put to death because no one warned the master of the danger. On July, of 61 AD., 400 slaves were marched to the Hippodrome and were put to death because one of the slaves killed his master.
In August of 64 AD a large portion of Rome was burnet to the ground. Nero blamed the Christians and many of them were brutally put to death by wild animals, swords and burned alive. The leaders of the Christian church, including Peter were encouraged to leave the city so that they could save the church. While Peter was leaving the city he saw (in his mind’s eye) the Master Jesus Christ going to the city. Peter asked Him, “Where are You going Lord?” Jesus’ response to Peter, “I’m going to minister to the burdened, burned, and branded as enemies of the state!”
Having heard this, Peter turns around and marches back into the city of Rome. He offers himself to the authority and asked to be crucified upside down because he is not worthy to be crucified like His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. PAUSE.
However there is no greater march unto death as the Suffering Servant, our Savior endured for us-for you as told us by the Prophet Isaiah in the text for this Palm Sunday. Hear the Word of Isaiah again please. “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God Has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. I gave My back to those who strike, and My cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not My face from disgrace and spitting”
As the Suffering Servant and Savior, Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time; He knew He wouldn’t come out alive. He knew He was marching unto death. He knew that He wouldn’t turn backward from His mission; He would give His back upon which they would dig furrows in it; He would permit some to strike Him and others to pull out the hair out of His beard and His face to be beaten and bloodied for us-for you.
The Suffering Servant and Savior as He heard the cries of the people on the Palm Sunday processional saying: “Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to the Son of David!,” knew that He would march into Jerusalem, would be handed to the authority, condemned to death-death by crucifixion on a hewn cross for the sins of the world-for us-for you.
Beloved in Christ, Jesus’ triumphal entry into the City of David was intended to triumph over our enemies and do away with the curse of the law and the punishment of hell. And His triumph was the answer to the prayers of those who stood by the road and cried out to God to save them. PAUSE.
When the people cry out, God hears and sends a deliverer. Moses, Joshua, the Judges, David—when the people cry out for help, for rescue, for restoration, for redemption, God sends His chosen One. Hear our cries, O LORD. Let Your ears be attentive to our pleas for mercy. O Lord, hear my voice; let my cries come unto You. “Deliver [us] from sinking in the mire; let [us] be delivered from [our] enemies and from the deep waters…Answer [us] O LORD, for Your steadfast love is good; according to Your abundant mercy, turn to [us]” (Ps. 69:14, 16).
From this holy place called Redeemer Lutheran Church, in Armour, SD our prayers and cries for mercy rise up from the altar of our supplication, seeking the LORD and His help in time of trouble. For we, all, are marching towards death—death because of our sins that sends us to the abyss of hell.
Without our deliverer, the Suffering Servant—Jesus our march to death would take place because the devil would lead us by the nose to receive our due reward, separation from the presence of God forever where there is gnashing of teeth and torment of hell.
As the redeemed people of God, I need to ask you, are you marching to tell others about the One who was sent to be rescuer and redeemer of the people the world over? Are you marching with eagerness to be in His house of worship? Are you marching to study the Word of God? Are you marching towards the altar to be fed and nurtured?
If you are God be praised. If you are not, I am so thankful that the Spirit has led you here to hear the footsteps of the Savior as He marches on towards Skull Hill to die for the world—for us—for you. PAUSE.
In the book of Genesis chapter 44 the 11 sons of Jacob returned to Egypt to buy grain and depart. On their way back to the Promised Land, the Egyptian soldiers followed and overtook them. They asked “Why have you done this evil against my kind master and took his silver cup?” Ultimately the cup is located in Joseph’s full brother—Benjamin’s bag.
The soldiers drag Benjamin back to Egypt and put him in jail. Then Judah his older brother pleads and begs with Joseph to let him be jailed instead of his brother for the sake of his elderly father—Jacob who has already lost one brother—Joseph. Joseph wouldn’t permit his brother Judah to do so. However, the great, great grandson of Judah—Jesus would give His life, not only to rescue Benjamin, Peter, the 400 slaves but the world. That is why He marched into the city of Jerusalem knowing full well He would march unto death for us-for you; and would rise again so that we would march with Him unto the glories of heaven.
What joy fills our hearts on account of the Savior, Jesus who marched in our place in hell so that we would march with Him forever in heaven. Amen.
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA