This is the Day!                                               Matt. 26-27

Palm/Passion Sunday                                          April 2. 2023,                                     St. John, New Orleans

This is the day! 

The day which was the beginning of the end. 

And which, ultimately, would launch another beginning. 

Jesus, the son of God, enters Jerusalem as the king he really was. 

And just a few days later, would leave it marked for death as a criminal.

This is the day. 

The day we begin our Holy Week observances. 

The day we begin to remember all that Jesus did to save us from our sin. 

The day when his own people praised him, even if they didn't understand him. 

This is the day in which, 

despite their praise and adoration upon his entrance into Jerusalem, 

they would eventually betray him to the cross as a unified, frenzied, mob.

This is the day we come together. 

In remembrance, as we recount the extent of his bitter suffering and death. 

In reverence, as we realize he did it out of love for us, and in obedience to his father. 

And in respect, so that we might publicly mark this day and this week, 

not only for its historical significance, 

but for our personal connection to its events. 

For we not only benefited from his death on the cross, 

but it was our sin which put him up there. 

And so, we gather not only to pay homage to Jesus, 

but to lean on and support each other,

as we reflect on the life and death of the Savior 

even as we reflect on the lives he saved. Including our own.

This is the day for reflection. 

Not for complicated discourses on the finer points of scripture, 

but to hear the work of Jesus done for you. 

And to let that good work rattle around in your heart and your mind for a while. 

Today is the day to worry less about what we are saying, but rather, to listen to what God has to say to us.

It is not often we take the time to read the entire passion in one sitting, but this is the day to do so. 

It helps us to reestablish the context and continuity of the stories we hear each year. 

It allows us to follow Jesus through that fateful day as one of his disciples. 

And it engages our hearts in a way we didn't we don't normally engage when we read the scriptures. 

Yes, this is the day we enter Holy Week with Jesus.

I hope all of you can continue this journey to the cross 

as you reflect and contemplate over our Lord's passion, 

and as you join us this Thursday and Friday 

as we conclude our Lenten observances with Monday Thursday 

and Good Friday services at 6:30 PM. 

And as we wrap up our series, “the Chronicles of the king of kings.” 

so that we can continue to appreciate our savior's love for us, and his sacrifice for our sin. 

So that by this time next week, when we will celebrate his resurrection from the grave,

 we would be filled with even more joy, 

and will praise him with ever more gladness. Amen.