Welcome to Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.
Just like the pilgrims who piled into Jerusalem for the feast of Passover we too today are pilgrims on a journey - we are his disciples poised at the beginning of a week when we will remember the passion of our Lord Jesus.
Today we celebrate and remember the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
The crowds went wild as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a young colt - it was a declaration of his kingship and a fulfilment of the prophecies we find in the OT book of Zechariah
The crowds shouted Hosanna - meaning God saves - they believed that Jesus was coming as a conquering king to overthrow roman domination and oppression.
But Jesus came as a king of Peace and for peace - he was going to conquer in a different way - conquer sin and death once for all time by stooping to the agony of a Roman Cross - the colt that awaited him at Bethphage had never been used before - just like to tomb that awaited his body on Good Friday had never been used before
The pilgrims were piling into Jerusalem to remember the feast of Passover and the freeing of the people of Israel from the yoke of Pharaoh - the blood of a lamb meaning the angel off death passed over their homes and allowed the Exodus to occur
Jesus will usher in a new exodus - a freedom from bondage and sin - he will be as John tells us the lamb that takes away the sin of the world
The sketch reminds us that the path is set - Luke has already reminded I us in chapter 9 v 51 the linchpin of his gospel; that he resolutely sets his face towards Jerusalem
The path is set and Jesus knows what must be done - the betrayal of Judas the agony of Gethsemane - the fickleness of the crowds who cry Hosanna one week and crucify him the next, the horror and brutality of the cross - the separation from the father and his death and laying in the tomb ... And all that lies beyond
Riding into Jerusalem; Jesus consciously and deliberately sets into motion a sequence of events that will lead to his death - he is fully aware of his fate and yet he chooses the path of love and obedience - as Paul reminds us he became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
He does it for you and he does it for me
It's the greatest drama ever told and we are here again this morning standing at the threshold of Holy Week - another year - another week of busyness and the danger is the story becomes so familiar it fails to have any impact.
But will we make it a liminal moment in our lives? - will we step over the threshold and never be quite the same again?
Will we let the drama touch us again physically, mentally emotionally and spiritually and allow ourselves to be touched and to be changed?
We can be spectators like those who lined the streets or we can be part of this wonderful drama? - this was Jesus stooping to conquer and bring salvation to the hearts of men
Our challenge is to enter in to all that lies ahead this week and allow ourselves to be touched and changed by the God who loved the world so much he gave his only begotten son.