When you look to see Jesus, who is it that you really see? Do you see the Baby born in Bethlehem who begins God’s divine plan of salvation; is it the naked, God-Man Who hangs dying on the Cross to forgive the sins of the world; or is it the triumphant Lamb of God risen three days later from the dead? Of course, all of these are pictures of Who Jesus really is!
In today’s gospel reading, we see another picture of Jesus – the celebrated “Son of David” to whom the people shout, “Hosanna,” Lord save us! Palm Sunday weekend is a wonderful time of celebration for the church; a celebrative time of rejoicing in the midst of our sober, somber, penitential Lenten reflection. In only a few days, we will once again observe the passion of our Savior. We will see His anguish in the Garden; watch Him arrested and dragged away by His enemies; hear Him being falsely accused; see Him viciously beaten and maliciously mocked by His captors; and watch Him, finally, be crucified for the forgiveness of our sins and the sins of the entire world. But for now, for today, there are Parades, and Palms and Praises – all a part of God’s divine design, the fulfillment of God’s eternal plan.
In the gospel reading, non-Jews (Greeks) came looking for Jesus. They really wanted to see Him so they approached Philip and then Andrew. But for what exactly were they looking?… A magician?… A performer?… A miracle worker? Jesus knew they needed to know the truth – that He was the Messiah sent by God to suffer and die for the forgiveness of sins; the sins of ALL people. In an illustrative way, He told them, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12: 24) In other words, He would come into His own glory – the purpose for which He had come – and would bring glory to His Heavenly Father by dying, being buried and rising again. His death brought life to countless others – to you and me, and multitudes more who have been given the gifts of faith, forgiveness and eternal life!
God is glorified and we are richly blessed through the power of the cross. When we look up to Jesus on the Cross and believe what God promised, we are forgiven, healed and saved!
Our privilege and joy is to serve Him who gave Himself for us! The Apostle Paul said, “And He [Jesus] died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
Jesus said, “Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be.” (John 12: 26) He was lifted up for us, so now we Lift Up the Cross for Him! We serve, follow and glorify Him in our worship and witness, in our giving and Christian living. How will the Holy Spirit work in you to “Lift High the Cross?” May God bring us closer to one another and help us to Lift High the Cross in our families, neighborhoods, with our friends and among our daily acquaintances!
See you in church on Good Friday (4:30 or 7 p.m.); Holy Saturday (6 p.m.) and Easter Sunday (6:30, 8:15 or 11 a.m.)
Blessings in Christ,