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Reflections, Images, and Videos for Palm Sunday

April 11, 2017

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214d79bf8660f32f747c8685f7a10348April 9 was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. At our 8:30 and 10 a.m. Services, we proclaimed Jesus as our King and Saviour, as we shared a procession with palms and palm crosses, followed by the dramatic reading of his Passion. We were stirred in our souls as the heart of the mystery of our salvation was set before us. 

Embedded below are the 5 videos we watched before our 10 a.m. Service to prepare us for our Palm Sunday worship.

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Here’s the Triumphal Entry Gospel passage we read at both Services, as depicted in the movie “The Gospel of Matthew.”

Here’s a portion of the Passion Gospel we read at both Services.

Here’s the entire passage depicted in “The Gospel of Matthew.”

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The Bible

[After the reading of the Passion, I shared the following reflection at our 8:30 and 10 a.m. Services.]

As we spend the next few minutes being present with Our Lord and one another at the foot of the Cross, I invite you to reflect with me on what put him there.

JudasFirst, it was the actions of Judas … who uses his closeness with Jesus as a weapon, and hands Jesus over to those he knows seek his death; who decides it is time to jump ship, and uses his relationship with Jesus to get what he can – 30 pieces of silver – out of the deal; and who closes his heart to Jesus’ love, refusing to turn back from his decision even to the last in Gethsemane, when Jesus calls him “Friend,” and asks why he has come.

Do I betray a position of trust, using my closeness to the person as a weapon? Do the words “you only hurt the ones you love” apply well to me? Do I evaluate the worth of friendships by what I can get out of them? Do I close my heart to those who love me, and resist turning from that which I know to be hurting them?

Sins like these put Jesus on the Cross. Jesus died for my sins.

pavel-popov-judas-betrays-christ-with-a-kissNext, it was the actions of all his friends, deserting him in his time of need, such as Peter … who tells Jesus he will stand by him even to the point of death; who claims that even if all the other disciples fall away, he never will; but then tries to follow at a safe distance, and ends up out of fear denying any relationship at all with Jesus when Jesus’ hour of need arrives.

Do I make promises I don’t keep? Do I promise to always be there – to sacrifice myself for those I love – and then let them down when I have to live my words? Do I overestimate how far along I am in the school of life? Do I allow fear to inhibit my love, and try to love, but only “at a safe distance”?

Sins like these put Jesus on the Cross. Jesus died for my sins.

fbc30e5bd71a44271fbf3342bce49672Then, it was the actions of the leaders … who see the crowds following Jesus and fear the loss of their privileged status, who are so sure they are right that they can even commit murder and justify it as God’s will.

Do I resent the success and happiness of others? Do I drag my feet in helping transform the distribution of the world’s resources or the movement to greater care for the environment out of fear of losing my privileged position? Do I justify myself rather than accept criticism?

Sins like these put Jesus on the Cross. Jesus died for my sins.

282271034Then, it was the actions of the crowd … who are frustrated and bitter over having once again, it seems, their hopes of deliverance from the Romans crushed; who are angry at Jesus, who has invited them to put their hope and trust in him, and is now seemingly exposed as a fraud, and so lash out to demand his death, changing the cries for deliverance, “Hosanna,” on Palm Sunday, to cries of “Crucify” on Good Friday; who allow their anger to move them to choose the way of violence and hate, rather than the way of peace and love.

Do I allow my disappointment, my feeling even of betrayal at the hands of loved ones, to cause me to lash out in anger at them? Do I kill people in my mind with the hatred in my heart? Do my actions and thoughts testify to my often choosing the way of violence and hate over the way of peace and love?

Sins like these put Jesus on the Cross. Jesus died for my sins.

ecce-homo-ciseriNext, it was the actions of Pilate … who delivers a man he believes to be innocent over to death rather than get into personal difficulty with the crowd and, especially, Caesar; who to save his own skin, considers Jesus expendable; who tries to take the easy way out and avoid his moral responsibility to act.

Do I allow what I do to be influenced not only by what I believe to be right, but also by what I believe will be in my best interests? Do I consider my well-being more important than another’s? Do I try to wash my hands of injustice in the world, pretending it isn’t my responsibility to actively act against it?

Sins like these put Jesus on the Cross. Jesus died for my sins.

The crowning with thorns, by Dirck van BaburenLast, it was the actions of the soldiers … who are filled with contempt for the occupied nation of Israel … who are brutal to those they have power over, just because they can be, because no one is stopping them.

Do I look down in contempt on those different from me? Do I abuse positions of power over others? Do I act differently if I think my actions are free from consequences?

Sins like these put Jesus on the Cross. Jesus died for my sins.

Jesus 12But, while it is true that sins like all these – all of them mine – put Jesus on the Cross, this truth begs a deeper question: Why did Jesus allow our sins to nail him to the tree? Jesus himself said he could have been delivered at any time by legions of angels had he chose. What made him choose, instead, to be poured out as he was? The answer is love. At the deepest jesus-loves-youlevel, it was Jesus’ love that put him on the Cross. Jesus said he came to give his life as a ransom for many – for all who are dead in sin and need his new life within them. He willingly took all our darkness on himself; he removed all the barrier between us and God, so that we might be set free.

Love like this put Jesus on the Cross. Jesus died out of love for me and for you. Alleluia!

[This reflection was followed with the audio of the following song.]

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As we left the Sanctuary following our 10 a.m. Service, we ventured forth into our broken and hurting world, remembering that in his infinite love, Our Lord has laid down his life on the Cross for each and every one of us. 

Palm-Sunday-2

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