Palm/Passion Sunday – beginning of Holy Week

Posted by on Apr 5, 2020 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on Palm/Passion Sunday – beginning of Holy Week

Sermon for Sunday, April 5 Grace and Peace:  Our reading from the Gospel today is from John 13:1-17; 31b-35 Yes…this part of the Gospel of John  is written after Jesus has entered the city of Jerusalem on the donkey with the palm branches waving.  I chose this section to talk about today because I feel it has encouragement and hope for us as we are fighting this strange virus with the isolation it has brought.  This section comes after Jesus and his disciples have traveled to Jerusalem and while Jesus has healed a blind man, ministered to the Samaritan woman and stayed two days in her community because her testimony about Jesus spoke to many people, and finally He raised Lazarus from the grave.  These are but three of the “lessons” He was giving to his disciples in preparation for his crucifixion. Please imagine yourself in the room with Jesus and the disciples.  Jesus wanted time with just His disciples as he knew that the time for him to be crucified had come and he wanted to give them His assurance and the honor they would not be getting from anyone else as they did the work He asks them to do. Jesus begins by washing the feet of the disciples.  This is an action that was not done by a host to the people who had been invited to share a meal with him.  This action was administered by the servants to clean the feet from the dust that had collected on them.  This action is a parable of Jesus’ for him to illustrate the saving and ethical significance of His death.  Jesus took off his robe and took on the role of a servant.  The cleansing of the feet can be equated to cleansing of sin and preparation for following Jesus as a life-giving, loving service.  He is asking them to imitate the teacher.  He acted this parable to have his disciples remember it as they were ministering to the people. If a person refused to have his feet washed, he would not be part of the kingdom.  The cleansing and confessing of sins indicated a new birth.  With feet washed and sins forgiven, the disciples and we can walk in the light Jesus knows what is in Judas’ heart.  He knows that Judas has accepted money to betray him.  In fact, the betrayal by Judas fulfills Psalms 41:9.  Judas is not clean and has not believed.  Now…what does this signify for us?  The foot washing of the disciples….the participation in the Lord’s Supper (just as the disciples did) is a commissioning by Jesus to love, accept and serve others.  Jesus states in verses 34 and 35, “I give you a new commandment that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This is a sacrificial love…a l love that guarantees cohesion and acceptance. In our day and in our situation, how will we be able to love others as He has loved us.  Let’s think of a couple of examples.  When we are no longer “in physical distance”, what will change in our actions toward people?  Will be able to really appreciate the love and acceptance of a friend?  Will we thank the people who teach and work with our children?  When we are in a room full of people, how will we view those people?  Will we thank God for the gift of community?  When we celebrated the beginning of...

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