Palm Sunday 2018
Do not our hearts fill with sorrow when we hear the words:
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Most would believe, that these words are of desperation,
but yet; to those who understand these words from Psalm 22, we know that this psalm ends with a
“generation coming forth, declaring his righteousness,
unto a people that shall be born, whom the Lord hath made” Ps 22:32.
The psalm which begins with pain and agony,
ends triumphantly and gloriously, because a generation will serve him.
These words go hand in hand with the Passion of our Lord – suffering and then victory.
Last week, we spoke of God never leaving nor forsaking us –
and if He does this for us, how much more God the Father, for his Son…
God cannot forsake God,
and we, as sons and daughters 2Co 6:18, have received the same promise …
of eternity with God, if we are his disciples and keep His words.
Our Saviour’s life and death are well worthy of our examination, looking upon each part thereof.
Jesus was hunted and chased all his life by Herod;
and finally he was brought to an end, as a poor deer,
stricken and pierced through the side, heart, and all; of which we are encouraged to behold and reflect upon.
Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith, when for our salvation He endured the cross, and despised the shame as he was pierced.
And this piercing continues today, as we continue each day – to deny him and place His Will beneath our Will.
And in the beauty of Scripture, all was foretold beforehand in Isaiah Isa 53:10
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:
when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.”
It was not only through the crucifixion, in which his hands and feet were pierced, but even His heart – was pierced as well.
He, for us, endured whips and scourges, nails and thorns, and finally the tip of a spear.
A spear, what can it pierce (?), a body; yes, but how about a soul?
Remember Simeon, how he had warned Mary, the mother of Jeus, when Jesus was yet but just a babe that
“Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also”
(in reference to his Passion which would occur some 3 decades later,)
so yes, it seems that this spearing and piercing was not for Jesus alone.
His sorrow was plain to all the Evangelists: Matthew tell us (26:38) “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death:
tarry ye here, and watch with me” … obviously desperate for the friendship of His friends – His brothers;
and Luke informs us (22:44) And “being in agony he prayed more earnestly:
and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground;”
John writes (Jhn 12:27) “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour:
but for this cause came I unto this hour;”
and finally Mark confirms (Mar 14:34) Jesus … speaks of His soul being “exceeding sorrowful.”
As blood certainly streamed forth during His crucifixion,
it seems the piercing, within his very soul, caused that dreadful cry,
which moved heaven and earth
“My God, My God” surely this was a voice of great anguish;
With His soul being smitten by a spear, a spear of betrayal.
And who was it that caused this devilish act to be inflicted upon our Lord and Saviour?
The answer is given to us once again by the Prophet Isaiah when he writes (Isa 53:5)
“But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was bruised for our iniquities.”
Our iniquities, even our many great and grievous sins, should those not be before us, and should we not be eternally pierced,
in body and soul, with torments and sorrows,
but it was He who place His own body in harm’s way, as He stepped between us and hell eternal.
And for this rescuing, us from ourselves and sin, Paul writes: 1Co 2:2
For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ,
and him crucified.
We who “looked upon” this sight today, it is we that “pierced Him,” so we are called “look upon” him over and over again.
This Passion leads us – to His glorious resurrection…
As we are to stir up compassions within ourselves, as we reflect upon His piercing, so it may work a deep remorse within our hearts,
for it is us who are the authors of His death, wretched sinners as we all are.
It is Christ, pierced as He is, who invites us to see.
Come and see – let us hear his words: (Jhn 20:27)
Then saith he to Thomas,
“Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands;
and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side:
and be not faithless, but believing.”
in seeing and hearing, Thomas answered and said unto him
Jhn 20:28 “My Lord and my God
(words we repeat, each time we receive His Body and Blood;)
Our Lord Jesus continues with words of encouragement:
“Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:
blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Each of us, you and me, are invited as we hear the words:
“Have ye no regard all ye that pass by this way?
Behold and see, if there be any sorrow like My sorrow,
which is done unto Me”.
Brothers and Sisters we are invited to see for our own profit.
The greater grief: is of the crucifying and piercing of the more noble person, rather than the guilty.
It is God only; that pours the Spirit of Grace upon us, for it is beyond our ability to do so,
but if we do look, with a penitent heart upon this unjustly act,
maybe we will be like the centurion who crucified Him, and finally realize that surely this man “is the Son of God.”
So indeed, look upon him, and be pierced for it is our sins and lusts, that pierce him still today.
As our sins gave him His wounds, and it was His love for us, for which he accepted them,
so, it is by our love for him, that the fruits of His labor upon the cross, now allows us the benefits of His Passion.
Look upon Him, till He look upon you, for so He will,
as He looked upon Peter, and with that look, melted him to tears.
He that once and twice before denied Him, but never wept, for Christ not looked upon him till this moment,
it was when he denied Him (for the final time) when Christ looked upon him, and Peter went out and wept bitterly.
If so to Peter He did, so to you also He will.
Deny Him, and he will still look upon you, as if calling you to him.
As we plunge into HOLY WEEK,
Look upon Him – upon the cross, confess your sins, and let his love pierce your hearts and strengthen you in your faith.
For this is why you were created; to love and to be with Him.
So open and warm your hearts with His words, his love, and his Passion.
Plant His Will within your heart, soul, and mind, and make His ways your ways.
Speak often of His words, His love, and His Passion as you travel along your own road of life –
Yes, just maybe you will enter into your own town of Emmaus,
and with your family and friends may he speak to you: that you may say together:
“Did we not feel our hearts warm within us?”
From shame to pain He suffered for us,
and from this we are given the comforts and benefits of which we are not deserving.
Endeavor to “look upon” this day,
And grow in His delight
and say through faith in Him:
Lord, have mercy upon me
For surely this is: THE SON OF GOD!
The hour cometh and now is…