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Clouds of witness

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Psalm 22: 1, 6, 17-18 and Philippians 2:5-8
My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me? I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross.

Jesus enters Jerusalem today in triumph, to the songs and chants of the people, "Hosanna! Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" But we have been listening to Jesus. He's coming to this Passover to die. And some of these same people will soon be screaming, "Crucify him!"

Palm leaves lining the street, music and dancing, good food and drink, and most of all ... Jesus has come to the Feast! Now everything is complete. We are not alone. Jesus will speak to us and heal us and maybe find food for us. He is our salvation, our savior, our king ... there is no longer any need to fear the Roman soldiers. Life is good again. Let us thank God and celebrate the Passover.

We need a young lamb for our sacrifice, a perfect lamb with fleece as white as snow. We'll paint the blood of that lamb over our doorposts and ask God to pass over the house, release us from the curse of death and destruction because of the blood of that lamb. God's promise is clear; we will be safe and free.

We didn't bring our own lamb; we can buy one at the temple. They sell them there. They'll take whatever currency we have. The moneychangers accommodate everyone.

That ... we can do tomorrow. Today is the day to look to Jesus. He's here! He came riding on a donkey, and we all cheered for him.

Jesus looked at us so warmly. He has the deepest eyes. He loves us so much. We're so happy he's here. He truly is our hero. What would we do without him?

During this week before Easter, Lord, open my heart and let me see how I have been shallow, been unrepentant and turned away from you over and over. Not just three times like Peter ...

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