Palm Sunday Message: Lead Me to the Cross…Follow the Donkey…Find the Cross!
Everyone likes peace and quiet…unless…
You know that eerie realization as a parent when you were conversing with adults and the group of kids that was a dull roar in the background all of a sudden goes quiet. Unfortunately, often an inspection of what caused the silence isn’t good. This kind of silence often ends with punishment or consequences because the kids got into something they shouldn’t have.
This is the silence of Wednesday of Holy Week.
It’s kind of an eerie silence.
Palm Sunday was a joyous procession with a crowd and shouts of “Hosanna!”
Monday righteous anger drives out the money changers from the temple drawing the ire of the religious leaders.
Tuesday was a busy day of teaching on the destruction of Jerusalem and Jesus’ second coming.
But the hushed nature of the day was not because there was peace in Jerusalem. There was a plot brewing.
Tuesday ended with this:
Matthew 26:3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. 5 “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”
What would change their minds?
The “sly way” to arrest Jesus came to them. How could they say, “No”? Judas was the willing accomplice. If the price was right…he was in. The concern for a riot among the people diminished when they had a plan to have Jesus delivered into their hands.
Matthew 26:14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Judas’ actions were brewing for a while. At the root was not a hate of Jesus, it was a stronger love of money. So when did the love of money become stronger than love of Jesus? We don’t know for sure, but perhaps what tipped him over the edge was the anointing of Jesus with very expensive perfume.
John 12:4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
Worship of Jesus got in the way of lining the pockets of Judas…so Judas decided to get rid of Jesus to line his pockets with 30 silver coins.
We can be like Judas running along and following Jesus. We can listen to Jesus’ teaching, participate in his ministry, and understand his purpose and impact. Until we don’t. When our heart goes silent on Jesus, greed or other desires move in.
Watch out for the silence. Sometimes it’s a cover for sin.
Apply: What sin is lurking in the silence of your heart? Let the example of Judas warn us to turn from it and back to Jesus. Jesus died for Judas, but Judas never turned back for forgiveness. Jesus is faithful. As we confess to him he will forgive you. He died for you.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for exposing the sin that lurks in the silence of my heart. Lead me to return to you in repentance to receive your forgiveness and strength to overcome. AMEN.