The Messenger: Rev. Albert Gaither
Text: Isaiah 50::4-9
On the Sunday before his death, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for the last time to join with other Jews to celebrate the Passover feast. He rode in on a donkey which symbolized peace. Crowds of people spread their coats, waved branches of palms and shouted, Hosanna! The crowds were hopeful, optimistic and confident that he would lead an attack that would free them of Roman bondage, and that they would have power and authority.
When they followed him into the temple, they were confident of his victory. However, when everyone reached the temple and saw Jesus pushing the money changers out, praying in the Temples, and claiming his authority came from God, the mood of the people changed. There was harsh conflict between Jesus and Jerusalem’s religious leaders. As the week went on, attitudes changed and people realized that Jesus was not coming for rebellion against Rome. They realized that he was no longer the promised one. The crowd who praise him with palms one day, joined in the call for crucifixion a few days later. Roman soldiers arrested Jesus, and he was put on trial for claiming to be the king of the Jews. He was crucified less than a week after entering Jerusalem.
Jesus knew his purpose, and he carried it out. He faced his Jerusalem unafraid, and he did allow the crowd to change his mind even though he knew he was walking down the road to his death. Why did he do it? He did it because he is the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He was willing to do that for me and for you!