Stay-at-home health precautions keep us from occupying the pews today. Yet electronically and “in spirit,” we join our voices. We praise our Savior-God who, as Isaiah stated, set His “face like flint” to head to the cross for you and me and all sinners. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna to the Son of David!”
Why did he enter Jerusalem that day? It was to deal with a serious and deadly infection – our sin. Sin is serious. It sticks to us on the outside and inside by nature, and – like a deadly infection – we need it rooted out by a perfect doctor with a perfect cure. Doctor visits are not fun. The doctor is there to diagnose our condition. Until that condition is seen for what it is, will anyone care about the cure?
We need this Jesus of Nazareth who rode into Jerusalem long ago and still rides into our hearts today with His proper medicine – His Gospel message. He dispenses it to our needy hearts in word and sacrament. He alone is our royal Physician who can help us – help us escape hellfire. It took the Son of God – come in human flesh as the Son of David – to redeem us from destruction.
Christ has come. He has lived the holy life that you and I were unable to live. He had perfection in every one of His thoughts. Every single word that flowed from His mouth and all His actions were carried out on this earth immaculately in the sight of our heavenly Father. But there is more. Jesus humbled himself, not just by riding the lowly donkey. He lowered himself to the point of death at the cross so that by His bloody sacrifice of substitution, you and I and all would be declared free of all the guilt and punishment of our sins before the heavenly Father! “He humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!”
Through faith in this Son of David, we have access to the throne in heaven. The writer of Hebrews says, “We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.” No wonder we love to shout with the Palm Sunday crowd, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” We are forgiven! We now have the gift of eternal life in heaven guaranteed through faith in Jesus Christ!
Whether we succumb to a virus or are taken from this valley of sorrows in some other manner, by faith in Jesus Christ we possess a Physician who has the perfect cure. He promises a Paradise of perfection! He – as our now risen and ascended Lord – assures us that this Eden of eternity is a true utopia where “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
There is a little story told of the famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon. He was riding in a horse-drawn carriage through the country one day. His eye suddenly was drawn to a weathervane on a farmer’s barn. On the arrow of the vane, three words were inscribed: God is love. Getting down from his coach, he walked up to the farmer and asked, “What do you mean by that? Do you mean that God’s love changes with the wind?” “Oh, no!” said the farmer, “I mean that whichever way the wind is blowing, God still is love!”
Yes, God is love, no matter which way the winds are blowing around us. We can always trust Him who rode into the palm-strewn streets of Jerusalem long ago. Through His Word, we know that He will never leave us nor forsake us. “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Have a great Palm Sunday, and we hope to see you back in church soon!
Rev. John A. Moldstad,