- Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
- Matthew 21:1-11
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”
We hear this quote from the Bible every once in a while
But this time as I read it, I took issue with it
No, not the part about Jesus being the cornerstone…that is truly clear
I reject the part about the builders rejecting him
The Pharisees and religious leaders of the day were not “builders;” they were managers
Managing only to build up themselves and those who drank their Kool-Aid
But they obviously rejected Jesus
Maybe the people could be viewed as the builders…the worker bees
Clearly, they rejected Jesus, too…choosing Barabbas as their champion
Shouting “Crucify Him!” when asked what should become of Jesus the Christ
But should we assign blame to any of them?
Without those roles being played, Jesus maybe does not hang on the cross
What then about the forgiveness of sins…taking all of our misbehavior upon his shoulders?
Surely it would have happened, right?
Would it have happened that way if it was happening right now?
Would you go and bring the donkey and the colt to Jesus when asked?
Would we, in broad daylight, on the main road into town, be caught yelling “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!,” with the risk of being exposed, or being the next one crucified?
Or would be among those asking “Who is this?”
And the follow up questions, “Where did he come from?” “Why is he doing this?” “Who are all of these shouting people?”
The masses were there that day to celebrate the Passover, when the blood of a sacrifice spared many lives
The Pharisees and the authorities we there that day to trap Jesus with a “crime” that he could be killed for…to simplify their managing of the masses
The believers that day? They had hope…for a few more days…
Followed by sadness as deep as the oceans
And then by rejoicing that awakened the dead
What if Jesus rode past this church at this very moment in time…
Would we be content to watch him ride past, like another float in a parade?
What if we actually followed him, as Peter, Andrew, James and John did on the shores of the Sea of Galilee?
How many would risk letting the world know that they believed by, letting their light shine
How many would choose to continue on their own path, maybe to the wrong gate?
How many have faith…really deep faith?
If Jesus rode by today, would the media be bothered enough to cover it?
Would anybody bother to watch?
The path of discipleship…the march of the disciples leads us to the cross
Especially this week
The resistance of evil and the embrace of justice leads to the cross
Especially this week
Hope is reborn next Sunday!
The promise of eternity is born next Sunday!
The spiritual freedom to follow Jesus Christ was born in that empty tomb that we remember next Sunday.
Unburden yourself from all that which holds you down…holds you back
Reach for the cross…reach for the savior…never fear again! AMEN