Seeing Things Upside Down
Luke 6.12-49: This day is called Palm Sunday commemorating the palm branches and the cloaks that people were spreading out before Jesus as He entered Jerusalem. This day though was not just about palm branches - it was about what the crowd was saying. Luke tells us that as Jesus entered Jerusalem the people began rejoicing and praising God, shouting, Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! (Luke 19:38). Some Pharisees try to get Jesus to make the crowd stop. They ask him to rebuke the people for what they’re saying — the whole “Blessed is the King” bit. The Pharisees get it, you see. This isn’t just any phrase. This is the kind of welcome reserved for Israel’s Savior. The people wanted salvation and success. Which means, they wanted the Messiah to march into the city and do hard business with Rome. They wanted to be free from Gentile oppression, even if by force, even if by threats and plagues and a split sea, as they recounted so well in their history. They wanted another exodus, one that expelled the Romans. Instead, what they got by Friday morning was a bloodied has-been. Or so they thought. Palm Sunday really is a picture of what Jesus came to do as a different king calling people to a different kingdom. His life and ministry was about this, as He gave people a new vision of life – the Kingdom of Heaven and we see that as we look at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.