It makes you wonder. The long black limo passes you on the freeway and you can’t help but wonder who might be the passenger behind the opaque, smoked glass windows. Is it a government official on their way to Madison or maybe an NFL star enjoying the off season? An imposing SUV is parked in a VIP spot at an arena downtown. Whose is it—a famous entertainer’s? You spot someone surrounded by an entourage of people and being interviewed by a reporter. Who is it? Do they look familiar? We’re naturally curious about people who stand out from the crowd. We want to know what they do and why, and how they affect us, if at all.
Ever since His birth people have tried to figure out Jesus. There seem to be so many contradictions. He was born in the humblest of circumstances, yet angels announced His arrival. He learned Bible stories, just like any other child, and yet the teachers at the Temple in Jerusalem were amazed at His understanding. He grew up under the care of Mary and Joseph, and yet He said He must be about His heavenly Father’s business. He was tempted in every way just as we are, yet never sinned.
All those contradictions came together on the first Palm Sunday. Jesus entered Jerusalem to a kingly welcome, yet He had none of the things usually associated with royalty. There was no honor guard, no chariot, no crown. As He told Pilate, He was a king, but His kingdom is not of this world.
People still wonder about Jesus. Was He a teacher, a prophet, a martyr or something more? Does He matter to me and this present world?
It makes one wonder, but we don’t have to look far for the answers. Jesus stands out from all other human beings, because He is more than just a man. He is true God, as well as true man. He is the God-Man in person. He matters to every human being in history because He came to do what we could never do for ourselves, and that is to make things right between God and sinners by “becoming sin for us.” That is what Palm Sunday is all about. The King of kings rode into Jerusalem for the final battle with sin and Satan for the souls of people dead in sin by nature. The King of all set aside the use of His rightful glory and power, and took upon Himself the sin of all, that all might be pronounced holy before God.
“Who is this?” the Palm Sunday crowds wondered (Matt. 21:10). Tomorrow in the sermon text (Zech. 9:9-10) we will again hear the definitive answer: “Behold, your King is coming to you!”
Yours in Christ,
The public school confirmation class meets after second service (12:15 p.m.).