Mark 11:1-11; 15:1-39
April 16, 2000
An Attitude of Opportunity
"When Triumph & Tragedy Kiss Each Other”
–Palm Sunday consists of mixed emotions.
One does not know whether to laugh or cry, to celebrate or to mourn.
Palm Sunday seems to be triumph for Jesus and Passion Sunday is one of
agony, suffering, and death. Within
a week this was Jesus’ experience, and we need to re-live it with Him.
How triumph turns to tragedy –
Was Jesus a King? (v.2) The central issue in the trial,
passion and death of Jesus was the matter of kingship. He was accused of making
Himself a king. This claim was the subject of Pilate's interview with Jesus. His
enemies rejected Jesus as a king. They
claimed to have no king but Caesar. Using the idea of a king, the soldiers had
fun with Jesus dressing Him up as a king. While on the cross, His enemies used
the King idea as the basis for mockery. The superscription on the cross
identified Him as a king. But what a King! He was a king without a crown,
throne, and scepter; He had no countries, no army, nor navy. All He had was a
kingdom of truth and love.
And yet there was no answer that Jesus would give to His
accusers. (v.4) In
It was out of envy and spite that these false charges
were leveled at Jesus
After a night with no sleep, enduring four trials (three
Jewish and one Roman) after repeated beatings and extreme cruelty Jesus was led
through the streets of Jerusalem bearing His own cross. But
He fell under the load a pilgrim who had come to the city was compelled (v.21)
to carry Jesus' cross to Calvary. His name was Simon, Simon from Cyrene. A cross
may be carried voluntarily, but most crosses are thrust upon us.
If it is our own cross, we may choose to carry it. But, it is another
matter if the cross belongs to another person. Life often thrusts a cross on us
- it is unavoidable and inevitable. Even though the cross is compulsory, we gain
from carrying it. Simon must have become a disciple for the early church; for he
is identified as the father of Alexander and Rufus, men known by the church to
be key leaders. Simon was a role model for his children in bearing the cross for
Christ even when it was thrust upon him. May we model Simon as we bear under the
crosses that are placed upon us.
When Jesus died, the curtain between the Holy of Holies
and the Holy Place
It took a hard man of war and a Gentile to see in the
crucified 0ne that Jesus
Soli Deo Gloria +