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Luke 19:28-44, Psalm 118:25-29, Zechariah 9:9
Scripture Reading: Luke 19:28-44, Psalm 118:25-29, Zechariah 9:9
Have you ever seen an Easter pageant? When I was growing up, every year I saw church folks get dressed up in ancient garb and sandals to dramatize the events of Holy Week. I loved it. But like any amateur theatrical, things often went wonderfully wrong. In one play, Jesus was played by a young guy who was ready for anything. Unfortunately, the guards got too rough when they pretended to beat him and he ended up needing to go to the hospital before the end of the show.
You know how the show must go on. But there was no one else who knew the lines—other than the stage manager. So after the resurrection, the actor playing Jesus was about 16 inches shorter, 30 pounds heavier, and 20 years older. No one was fooled, but they were pulling it off enough to save the show.
The last hurdle before they reached the curtain call was a pulley rigged to “fly” Jesus up for the ascension. But the new, heavier actor hadn’t rehearsed with the guys pulling the ropes, so when he declared, “I will meet you again someday!” the men below gave a great heave, but only lifted the actor a few inches off the stage. So he repeated his line and this time gave a little hop to help get off the ground. But this time, they pulled so hard he shot up out of sight, and a single sandal fell to the ground.
We can manage to bring our own ridiculousness to even the most mysterious and wonderful truth. We are so often the silly players in a story that spans all time and space and invites our total awe and reverence. What I bring to the Easter story is bulges, hiccups, toddler-chasing, folly, and need. And that’s my part of the bargain—I bring my need and repentance, and Jesus Christ does all the work. He is the author and finisher of the story (Hebrews 12:2). He saves the day.
Our worship on our own falls short of the glory of God. This is especially true when we invent all manner of our own worship forms—we only end up creating a poor mimicry, even in our sincerest efforts. Even the crowds in Jerusalem, though they sang praises to God, and hailed Jesus as King, even they did not recognize the time when God visited them. The Pharisees, thinking themselves wise because they saw the crowd for what it was, did not comprehend the Christ before them.
God, very God, was in their midst, in the flesh, weeping for them, and marching to the cross for their redemption! The scene before them was no mere pageant, but the glorious foretelling of their redemption. Christ came to a blind, foolish, sinful and even a ridiculous people. He came in humility, riding on the colt of a donkey, laying aside His glory, in order to make a people for Himself, who would worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Lord, condescend yet again, and open our eyes to behold You as You are! Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Written by Rebecca Faires