Motivation for Palm Sunday

8am 20/03/16

PALM SUNDAY

It was good to listen to the ‘Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ’ – ‘good’ because it’s the only Sunday in the year when we hear it other than this Friday when the Passion is read from St John’s Gospel.

Good Friday is the Christian Holy Day of Atonement, where God the Father once offered his only Son as the sacrifice for the sins of humankind past, present and future.  So, please, (and I am talking to Christian believers) cancel everything else on that day and try to attend the celebration of the Lord’s passion at this church from 12 Noon – 3 PM.  Let the rest of the world do its own thing, but for yourself, come to the cross and reflect on what God is doing there. It’s  miraculous, it’s awe-inspiring, it’s holy and wonderful.

Pause to Reflect

In this short address I want to consider only one thing:  the motivation of Our Lord – what inspired him, what drove him, what was His passion?

Pause to Reflect

St Luke tells us in chapter 2, looking at Jesus as a boy of 12 attending the Feast of the Passover, staying behind in Jerusalem “while his parents travelled homewards thinking he was with their family and friends, and, not finding him, went back to Jerusalem to look for him.  After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.”

“When his parents saw him His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this?  Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house” (some translations “to be about my Father’s Business”) But they did not understand what he was saying to them”.

In hindsight, we can understand, for His motivation is a laser-like focus, the determination to DO HIS FATHER’S WILL.  He is absolutely single-minded about it – This is his MISSION!

Pause to Reflect

The Lord’s Prayer which we know so well contains His motivation which at any time we can make our own.  The writer of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews gives his reason for the motivation of Jesus – chapter12 v 12 –

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right had of the throne of God”  (Joy is the fruit of a proper focus).   

Pause to Reflect

In looking at what motivates us in our various situations we often or sometimes have mixed motives, but what do you suppose motivated a paratrooper who three years ago braved Taliban gunfire to rescue a fallen comrade and became the first living soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross, the military decoration for valour in the face of the enemy?

Whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2013 Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey, 27 years, from Hampshire, UK, rushed across a barren hillside to tend the wounds of and rescue a stricken US marine, despite being under fire from 20 Taliban fighters.  He then returned to the top of the hill to retrieve two machine guns, though he was carrying 60 pounds of equipment, and bullets were – at one point- ricocheting off the frame of one of the guns. Later, having received his medal, Lance Corporal Leakey returned to his platoon.  Overall in WW2 181 men were awarded the Victoria Cross, 85 of them posthumously.

What  motivated them?  – an adrenalin rush?  Anger?  A  fierce determination to get it done?

Pause to Reflect

What motivates you and me to be a follower of Our Lord Jesus Christ?

Pause to Reflect

Whatever it is, there is always before us, Our Lord himself, the single-minded, courageous, holy, determined Son of God, washing his disciples feet – showing us what He wants us to become and how we are to conduct ourselves.

The focal point to which he is moving is the cross, on which He is to be God’s instrument of forgiveness and new life for humankind and for you and me.

Pause to Reflect

This Good Friday, our Christian Day of Atonement, may we discover again for ourselves the immeasurable, huge love of God in sending his son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.

Pause to Reflect

Our response to his self-sacrifice could re-ignite our own potential to become shining lights in the world desperate to see God’s love in action.  Your palm cross could help you this week to a fresh realization of God’s LOVE for His world.

Pause to Reflect

So may God continue to bless us all

AMEN

 

 

 

 

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