This Sunday, I’ll be using Matthew 27:11-54 as the text for the message.
This is a difficult text.
It’s Palm Sunday, for crying out loud. Shouldn’t we just be celebrating? Shouldn’t we just be shouting loud “hosannas”? Why do we have to talk about the cross? Can’t that wait until Friday?
The temptation that I am wrestling with is apparent. You see, in reality, I want to skip over the cross and get right to resurrection. I want my Sunday to be a loud celebration…not a somber dose of reality. I want my Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt…you know…kind of formal, but He’s also here to party!
However, as much as I want to focus on the praises and celebrations of Palm Sunday…as much as I want to get straight to the Easter party…I know that we would be doing a huge disservice to the Scripture and the story of the Gospel if we failed to encounter the cross…the beauty…the horror.
When we remember the pain, the torture, the agony, the mocking, the rejection that Christ endured through the cross, it makes resurrection more powerful, at least to me.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “The cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But, all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.”
That’s a beautiful statement. And, I believe God is still absorbing the cost and the pain.
When we encounter the cross, are we filled with awe? Are we filled with hope? Are we encouraged to believe? Or are we tempted to skip over the cross and simply treat it as our “ticket in”?
Wherever you find yourself this Sunday or Good Friday, I hope and pray that you will take the time to encounter the horrific beauty of the cross.