DayBreaks for 4/14/14 – The Master’s Week
Matthew 21:8-11 (NLT) – Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD! Praise God in highest heaven!” 10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked. 11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
As the preacher said this morning, this week is the Masters. He wasn’t talking about golf, either, for this week is the week that belongs to THE Master, for during this week the most earth-shattering events of all history played out in the city of Jerusalem.
I recently heard this illustration and thought it apt for the start of the Master’s week:
“At a pre-concert lecture, the conductor of a symphony orchestra was telling the audience about the major work that the orchestra would be performing at that evening’s concert. The conductor told the people that if they listened carefully to the music, they would discover that it was both surprising and inevitable. On the one hand, the musical score would take a fair number of rather jarring and unexpected twists. There would be points in the concert when the blare of the trumpet or the sudden rolling of the timpani would seem to come from out of nowhere in a surprising fashion. On the other hand, however, the conductor noted that in the long run, these surprises would themselves become part of a larger coherence. Once listeners heard the entire piece from start to finish, they would find in the music an air of inevitability–how could it ever have been written any differently?
“Surprising and inevitable. Palm Sunday and the events of Holy Week are both surprising and inevitable. The truth is that we are not completely sure what to make of Palm Sunday.”
What do you make of Palm Sunday? Do you see it as a triumphant moment in the life of Christ? Do you see it as the “beginning of the end”? Do you see yourself in the faces lining the streets of the city as the rabbi rode into town on a donkey? Can you hear your voice shouting praises and singing with delight for the One who has come in the name of the Lord?
Or, would you be hanging back, worried about what others might think of you, perhaps knowing that those who held the religious power couldn’t have been too happy about the goings on, and even if they were ambivalent, the Romans certainly wouldn’t be?
As strange as the concert illustration was, it would only make sense once the entire concert played out. To me, as much as I enjoyed the worship today (Sunday), I have to say that Palm Sunday has always been a struggle for me because I think it was a real struggle for Jesus. He knew the story of that particular week wasn’t going to end with praises but with hammers and nails. He knew that the ones cheering for him would be jeering at him as he was stripped naked and crucified at week’s end. He knew that the good feelings would change and be overwhelmed with darkness in the garden and while he hung on the cross.
Whatever else we might “make” of Palm Sunday, this much is certain: Jesus rode into the city knowing what lay ahead – and he never blinked. Why? Love – that’s why. This was nearly the peak of his ministry – so much lay behind and yet so much lay ahead. This was his week…he OWNED it!
It was time to finish that for which he’d come. Let the week begin…
PRAYER: Jesus, for this week, help us focus on You more clearly than ever before, to have your mind, know your thoughts, feel your love throughout this week! Let us remember you well! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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