Royal Passion: Palm Sunday (Luke 22:63–71)

2017.04.09 Royal Passion Luke 22 63-71.key

Jesus came as a king but did not come like as expected. On Palm Sunday (this Sunday) we remember how, he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey not a war horse. He was born in stable not a palace, lived with rejection not acclamation, and was crowned with thorns not gold. In Luke 22:63–71, Jesus comes as a prophet, king and priest, but he is blindfolded, rejected and ignored by the people. How will we respond to Jesus this Palm Sunday?  This passage presents three questions that demand our response.

First, will we repent before the blindfolded Prophet (Luke 22:63–65)? Jesus is mocked, beaten, blindfolded, and they ask him repeatedly, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” (22:64). Ironically Jesus fulfills prophesies of his mocking (Luke 18:32; 22:63), denial (22:34, 54–60), killing (9:22; 23:46), and rise again (9:22; 24:1–12).  Those in Jerusalem treat Jesus as Jerusalem has always treated prophets, “the city that kills the prophets and stones that are sent to it” (23:34). Prophets expose our sin, so we either repent at the exposure of our sin or kill the one who exposes our sin. What will our response to the Prophet be?

Second, we not only are to repent before the blindfolded Prophet, but will we believe in the King on trial (Luke 22:66–68)? Jesus stands as a King on trial. They demand to know, “If you re the Christ, tell us.” Christ is a political title for an anointed One, a King who save them from the Roman power of Caesar. Yet if he was truly a Christ, they “will not believe” (22:67). How will we respond to this King on trial? Do we believe?

Finally, we not only repent before the blindfolded Prophet and believe in the King on trial, but will we receive from the ignored Priest (Luke 22:69–71). Jesus identifies himself with the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the power of God.  As a priest, he is seated at the right hand of God’s throne to offer both gifts and sacrifices (cf. Heb 7:26–8:3).  Yet those who listen movingly deride him, asking him if he is the Son of God, and Jesus simply responds, “You say that I am” (22:70). They confess with their words but reject him with their actions.  However will we receive from Jesus as our priest?  He remains at the right hand of the Father to give gifts, but we often confess him with our lips but fail to receive from him as our Priest.

As Palm Sunday, we consider the blindfolded Prophet, the rejected King and ignored Priest.  May we repent before Jesus as Prophet, believe in Jesus as our King and receive from Him as our great High Priest. May we receive all that Jesus has come to give to us.

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