Good morning: Confusion has always swirled around Jesus’ identity and work. When the Lord asked the disciples who people were saying He was, they responded with a variety of public opinions. That hasn’t changed. Today too people have questions and doubts. If Jesus was only a prophet, what makes Him different than other prophets? If He is God, why did He look so ordinary? If He came to be a king, why didn’t He accept the crown when the crowds wanted to put Him on the throne? Perhaps you’ve had questions of your own. If Jesus is the Son of God and Lord of all, why doesn’t He use His power in more visible ways to punish evil and protect believers? Why isn’t the Christian life easier? The confusion doesn’t stem from God being unclear, but from human misconceptions about Jesus’ kingdom and rule. Even the disciples were caught up in the thinking that Jesus should fit the pattern of earthly rulers and exercise His authority with outward prestige and force of law. We fall into the same line of reasoning when we imagine that following Christ should mean fewer problems, more respect, and other earthly advantages. This view is sometimes called a theology of glory. God’s Word teaches something much different, the theology of the cross. Jesus is God, but He didn’t come to be a king who would bask in personal glory and other perks of power. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for every sinner. He came in the greatest humility. He came to obey the heavenly Father’s will, even to the point of death on the cross. Many reject Jesus because of His humility, but without it, there would be no salvation. The theology of the cross not only explains the necessity of Jesus’ humility and obedience, but teaches us about the Christian life. Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). Jesus suffered the death of the cross to pay our unpayable debt once and for all. Those who follow Him will have a cross to bear too, the cross of trials which come from the devil, world, and our own sinful nature because we are children of God. Is it worth it? Without a doubt! In tomorrow’s sermon text we will hear how the cross results in the greatest glory for Jesus and for those who follow Him in faith. “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9). Looking past temporary suffering and trouble, Paul wrote, “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Do you have questions? Are certain things regarding Jesus and His work confusing? Look to the Word. Trust the Spirit’s working to replace confusion with confidence, confidence in the Lord who humbled Himself even to the point of death that we might follow Him in faith from cross to crown. In Jesus’ name, Pastor Palm Sunday services are at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. The children will sing in first service. Sunday school is at 9:15 a.m. Adult Bible class begins at 9:30 a.m. The Bible class finished a study of Bible translations last week and tomorrow will begin a review of the Lutheran Service Book, the hymnal which the Bd. of Elders is recommending for congregational use. The public school confirmation class meets after second service.