He sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields picture that scene. In your mind, you know that familiar scene, most of us christian believers, call the palm sunday parade. Can you imagine how downright foolish jesus might have looked riding into the city on a donkey his legs dangling down, so that his toes scraped the dirt and his robe dragged in the dust? No question? Anybody can look important as they sit atop a war horse, but it’s hard, not to look like a total fool when you are sitting on the back of a donkey, but before we get too critical of jesus and his strategies for teaching us new and improved lessons About our faith, i invite you to consider the following possibilities for jesus modus operandi as he entered the holy city of jerusalem that week of the passover festival. What if this palm sunday account gives expression to the way, god laughs at our pretentious human pride or what? If this palm sunday parade is divine, satire offered up to puncture our human pretensions of power or what, if that man on the donkey, is some sort of heavenly mockery of human strength and might what? If our savior is encouraging each one of us to get down off of our high horses and instead follow him down the road of humility or what, if a loving humble savior, is not what we want, but he is most certainly what we need, if you recall From the rest of mark’s account of those palm sunday events, the people who lined the parade route that day we’re shouting hosanna hosanna in the highest again, you might remember that the hebrew word hosanna means help or save.
So, in addition to seeing the joy that crowds were feeling about jesus arrival simultaneously, they were reflecting a desperate cry to save us now, of course, their hopes for salvation were grounded in a savior who would come with military, economic and political power to throw out the Romans and re establish the throne of david, but that’s, not the kind of savior god sent. Is it indeed the peculiar story we recalled just yesterday, as we worship together as a faith family demonstrates the provocative message that our almighty, god saves not through the exercise of loveless power, but rather through the experience of what appears to be powerless, love or here’s. Another way to put it our almighty, god saves not through the myth of redemptive violence, but rather through the model of redemptive suffering. Our almighty. God saves not through a rearranging of the world’s political power players, but rather through a radical reorientation of the human heart. Our almighty, god saves not by destroying those who oppose him, but rather by forgiving those who nailed his son to a cross and, finally, our almighty, god saves not by escaping death, but by going with us all the way to the grave again. If you read a few chapters further in gospel writer mark’s account of jesus journey to the cross. You would come across that part of the story in chapter 15, where the religious leaders laugh out loud and mock jesus hollering. He wanted to save others, but he can’t even save himself.
They don’t realize at that point at least that the joke is on them that’s right precisely because jesus refused to save himself jesus saved others. Interestingly enough, the butt of the joke proves the same still today, that is to say, we are the fools if we think that we can save ourselves for sure the joke is on us. If we think we can change the world by the sheer force and strength of our human wisdom and power, truth be told, and it is most certainly the truth that man riding into town on that donkey and hanging on that cross may not be the savior. We want, but he is most definitely the savior. We need consider that ultimate truth, as you hear these words of the apostle paul to the church in philippi. This is a familiar passage to us all so i’m, going to share it out of the message version for a little change of pace: philippians 2, 1 through 11., if you’ve gotten anything at all out of following christ. If his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the spirit, means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care, then do me a favor agree with each other love each other, be deep! Spirited friends, don’t push your way to the front. Don’T sweet talk, your way to the top put yourself aside and help others get ahead. Don’T be obsessed with getting your own advantage.
Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way christ jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with god, but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status. No matter what not at all when the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave becoming human having become human. He stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless obedient life and then died a selfless obedient death and the worst kind of death at that a crucifixion because of that obedience, god lifted him high and honored him far beyond anything or anyone ever so that all created beings in heaven and On earth, even those long ago, dead and buried will bow in worship before this jesus christ and call out in praise that he is the master of all to the glorious honor of god, the father. So very often we get so caught up in the idea of a savior who helps us help ourselves. A savior who invites us to dress up all of our political prejudices prejudices in a robe of religion, a savior who encourages us to parade through life on a stallion of pride. However, as the apostle paul just highlighted in that reading from philippians, the savior we really need is the one who dresses himself in ultimate humility, he’s, the one who undermines our love of selfish power with the power of selfless love he’s, the one who calls us to Get off of our high horses and walk with him into suffering and sacrifice and service, so here’s an interesting thought.
What, if the palm sunday account, is actually a representation of the upside down nature of the kingdom of god? That is where the one who appears to be a fool turns out to be wiser than the rest. What, if that long, legged humble man sitting on that donkey turns out to be the one who puts everything else in the proper perspective? By appearing to look like the fool, what if the foolishness of god is actually wiser than the wisdom of humanity? What if let us pray? Lord jesus christ, who came tottering into jerusalem on a donkey? You are not the savior. We expected. After all, your power. Doesn’T look like the power we want, and your wisdom often seems, oh so foolish to us. While we are abundantly happy to join the crowd, waving branches and praising your name we’re, not at all ready to follow, you we’re not ready to follow you into the temple court, we’re, not ready to follow you into the upper room. We’Re not ready to follow you into the garden of gethsemane we’re, not ready to follow you all the way to the cross. So forgive our foolish assumptions.