Saturday, March 23, 2013

He is King: Palm Sunday

“On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet him, and began to shout, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord even the King of Israel.’ Jesus finding a young donkey sat on it; as it is written, ‘Fear not, Daughter of Zion, behold your King is coming seated on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:12-15)

I once had a lady in a class I was teaching express the thought that she did not wish to hear Jesus called King because in the United States we don’t agree with the idea of Kings ruling over us. But Jesus isn’t a fairy story; he is truly a king, the King. But he is the king who rode though death in order to carry his subjects into his kingdom. It is because of his death and resurrection that we are allowed to be a part of his kingdom. It is in his glory, the glory of the King, that we find joy in obedience.

Ride on, ride on in majesty! 
Hark, all the tribes hosanna cry, 
thy humble beast pursues his road 
with palms and scattered garments strowed. 

Ride on, ride on in majesty! 
In lowly pomp ride on to die, 
O Christ thy triumph now begin 
over captive death and conquered sin. 

Ride on, ride on in majesty! 
The winged squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wondring eyes 
to see the approaching sacrifice. 

Ride on, ride on in majesty! 
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh; 
the Father on his sapphire throne 
awaits his own anointed Son. 

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die; 
bow thy meek head to mortal pain, 
then take, O God, thy power and reign.

Henry Milman (1791-1868)

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