April 1, 2023

Self-Sacrificial Love is Humble (Palm Sunday)

The scene of Jesus riding toward Jerusalem is a picture of how the world is supposed to be. It is a scene where Jesus is celebrated as Lord by people in a right relationship with Him. It is a scene of joy and harmony and peace. This is love in action. We can see that real love is humble.

1. Humility is an attitude people can choose

It is an attitude people often confuse with fearfulness, weakness and indecision. 

  • When we are being ruled by our fear, weakness or our indecision we are not being humble – being fearful, weak or indecisive. 
  • We might be choosing to not chooseor giving up. 
  • Humility described in the Bible is an attitude of not giving up
  • Like Isaiah, Jesus chose to overcome His fear of what other people think and to be obedient to what God asks. 
  • Jesus is not demandingattentionor respect. 
  • He is demanding that people give attention and respect to God. 
  • It is very revealing that the Pharisees say "…this is not getting usanywhere." (John 12.19) Their attitude has changed from humility before Godthrough ritual purity; to arrogance before God in imposing ritual purity on others. 
  • Humility is a choice in how we respond to life. It is a choice to overcome our natural fear and self-centeredness

2. Humility is a sign of courage and strength

Isaiah reminds us of thecost of real humility. He has obeyed God, been rewarded with an “instructed tongue’ and declares “I have set my face like flint" (Isaiah 50.7) - the hardest rock known, and humbly done what God had asked him to do 

  • These words jumped out at me over 30 years ago as a lay person - it was part of my call to ordained ministry.
  • Those who choose to be humble and obedient before God are choosing the path of ridicule and persecution. 
  • A choice from a position of strengthnot weakness 
  • Jesus rides into Jerusalem - divine power - awesome power; humbly riding on a donkey. 
  • No armed escort, just the Son of God riding on a donkey. 
  • Isaiah prophesied mocking, spitting pulling of hair and death 
  • The responseis startling.--no talk of paying back, revenge
  • There is only humility, love and talk of not resisting.

3. Humility is self-sacrificial love

The Apostle Paul reminds us of how Jesus modeled self-sacrificial love for God and each of us by His life and His death on the Cross. 

  • It was a terrifying experience, seen in The Passion of the Christ 
  • The only fully divine and fully human man, humbly loving God and each of us enough to lay down His life for our sins
  • New Covenant of Jesus fulfilled the Covenant of Moses by replacing ineffective animal sacrifices, with the effective sacrificial death of the divine-human Jesus for all sin
  • Condition was the sinner had to show they believed in Jesus by dying spiritually to the sin and asking Jesus for forgiveness. 
  • Jesus death broke the power of sin-guilt to separate believers from God’s holy presence and eternal spiritual life.

4. The readings give us a glimpse of heaven. 

It is a place where Jesus is honoured and celebrated. It is a place where people are in right relationship with God. This relationship is best described as humble obedience and self-sacrificial love. 


Palm Sunday is a celebration of the joy of humble, 

self-sacrificial love

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