March 27, 2015

Palm Sunday Is the Roll-out Of the New Covenant

·         Chose Palm Sunday Readings for my Ordination as a priest in 1992
·         set His face like flint’ gave me the courage – hard to be different, face ridicule
·         Roll-out: new word for introducing a new program / computer system
·         Readings reveal who Jesus is, how to respond & how to celebrate
Pause at Eucharist Prayer words “New Covenant” to let them sink in

1.     On Palm Sunday Jesus clearly reveals who He is publicly

a.     The disciples had begun to see this but were still  confused

b.     Many people had figured it out when He raised Lazarus

c.     Riding a donkey into Jerusalem a claim to be expected Messiah

d.     Expected a Messiah who would restore the lost glory of Israel

e.     Riding a horse would be a claim to military / political authority

f.      Even the crowd figured it out as fulfillment of prophecy

g.     Revelation includes quoting the Isaiah 57 Prophecy and throwing the money changers out of Temple – “my Fathers’ house”

2.     Jesus New Covenant completed the covenants of Abraham and Moses

a.     Need to be very careful in interpreting this as not excluding Jews

b.     Jewish people have been persecuted by those who assume Jesus founded a new religion that automatically excluded them

c.     Jewish people fear “replacement theology” that implies they have been replaced as “the people of God”

d.     Jesus is completing the Covenants of Abraham and Moses

e.     New Covenant replaces Temple sacrifice with belief in the one-time sacrificial death of Jesus as a new way to forgiveness

f.      Forgiveness is conditional on faith and forgiving others

g.     New Covenant adds the benefits of receiving the Holy Spirit & eternal spiritual life to the land, children, protection and prosperity benefits of Moses Covenant

h.     John 3.16 is the short version – believe in / trust in the promised Jewish Messiah who kept the older Covenants

i.      “ If we have died with Him we shall be raised with Him”

j.      In Baptism, Confession & love of Jesus we die to our old self

k.     In Bible reading, personal prayer & worship we develop a love relationship with Jesus and really believe in Him

l.      As our spiritual life grows we live emotionally ‘in Jesus’

m.   Woman with perfume models this humble love relationship

n.     Judas betrayal of Jesus trust models the opposite
3.     Jesus celebrates the New Covenant with His Disciples

a.     Last Supper modelled fellowship the importance of loyalty

b.     Our participation in the Eucharist connects us to Jesus

c.     Jesus builds on their religious practice of dedicating food to a god then eating the food - in a sense had the god inside you

d.     Eucharist is all about inclusion – Judas ‘goes out’ – darkness

e.     The Eucharist is a way for people who have ‘gone out’ to re-connect themselves with Jesus and the Christian community

f.      Begin with Bible readings, worship experience and teaching

g.     Summarize what we believe in the Creed

h.     Follow Creed’s  believe in “the forgiveness of sins” with opportunity for personal Confession and Absolution

i.      The Eucharistic Prayer is another opportunity to remind ourselves of who we believe in - and what we believe

j.      Lord’s Prayer is the heart of the New Covenant as we say:

                                  i.     God is ‘our Father

                                 ii.    God is in Heaven

                                iii.    God is holy – we honour God

                                iv.    Your Kingdom come – we are loyal

                                 v.    Your will be done – we will obey

                                vi.    On earth as in heaven – we will help this come

                               vii.    We depend on God for feeding – spiritual food

                              viii.    Forgive us – depend on Jesus for forgiveness

                                ix.    As we forgive – our forgiveness is conditional

                                 x.    We ask for spiritual protection against temptation

                                xi.    We ask for deliverance from spiritual powers – evil

                               xii.    We affirm Gods kingdom, power and glory

k.     We share in a meal as a sign of fellowship – common cup


4.     Palm Sunday is a very special celebration

a.    Jesus was finally able to come right out and say who He was

b.    It was like the roll-out of a new product – New Covenant

c.     New Covenant extended the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness potentially to ‘all nations’ – all people

d.     It was a wonderful happy time –  He loved being with people

e.     Jesus showed us what it was like to have God physically with us

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