Welcome to our Palm Sunday Worship Service. On Palm Sunday we celebrate two different aspects of Jesus’ life: his triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his suffering, passion and death on the cross. Today’s service is a worship of Palm and Passion.
Palm : The first part of our worship of Palm is triumphant. We celebrate with the wild crowd that greeted Jesus on his entry to Jerusalem . They took off their clothing and broke down branches and shrubs and throwing them on the road for Jesus and his disciples to walk, while they shouted, “Hosanna (save us now) Son of David. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna (save us now) to the highest heaven.”
They greeted Jesus as their coming savior king. There was much hope and expectation in the Son of David, Jesus Christ the Messiah.
Suffering, Passion and Death : The second part of our worship
is about Jesus Christ the Suffering Servant who gave his life to atone for the sin of the whole world. Who is this Suffering Servant? Christian theology teaches that the Suffering Servant is the messianic figure — identified as Jesus of Nazareth in the
passion narratives of the Gospels of the New Testament. The Suffering Servant is the lamb that is taken to the slaughter, the sheep before its shearer. The Suffering Servant is the one on whom “The Spirit of the Lord rests, because the Lord has
anointed him; he has sent him to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.” In chapters 50 – 54 of Isaiah (known as the suffering servant passage) the Suffering Servant asserts that God has opened his ear and that he
didn’t rebel against God’s call. He voluntarily gave himself up (says Ephesians 5:2 & 25): “… I did not hide my face from insult and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). The Gospel writers understood Isaiah 50:6 to be a prophecy that was fulfilled in the passion narratives of the Gospels. The faithful Suffering Servant is obedient to God’s call despite undeservedly suffering . He’s confident that he is doing God’s will and that God will be with him (see vs. 7a and 7c of Isaiah 50) through it all. The Suffering Servant won’t allow himself to be thwarted from his God -given task because of shame or disgrace. With God, he withstands it all. St. Luke 9:51 points out that “When the days drew near for Jesus to be
“ taken up” [“taken up” a reference to Jesus being lifted up on the cross], he set his face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem.”
For some Christians suffering is a testing of faith and commitment to God. It may be said that those who continue to belong to the community of believers of the early church with all its attending human problems and sufferings were those who were willing to make sacrifices for God in Christ Jesus.
How committed to God in Christ are you and I, and how much are we willing to suffer for the Gospel and Jesus Christ who gave his life on the cross for us?
A joyous Palm Sunday and a blessed holy week full of remembering the Christ who gave his life for you and me.