Easter at Christmas

Christmas, so they say, finds its origins in a pagan observance of the Winter Solsitce.  On December 21st the sun disappears for the longest period and days become shortest in the Northern Hemisphere.  Things seem bleak and hopeless.  Warmth has evaporated.  It is easy to see the mood when snowy blizzrds bluster and swirl and even cause the roof of the Vikings’ stadium to collapse in Minneapolis.  It is good in dark times to remember that Jesus, the light of the world, was sent into a dark world to be God’s plan of redemption.  We don’t know when Jesus was born, but it is good to celebrate his coming at this time and throughout the year.

It is also good to remember that Jesus came to die.  There are echoes of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection in our culture.  It does not matter what time of year they come.  Let’s take advantage of them.

Luke 19:28-44

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a]

   “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

   40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Questions

  1. How is Jesus’ authority shown in the matter of the colt? (More than one way).
  2. How do the people react to jesus’ entry to Jerusalem?
  3. Why does jesus weep for the city?
  4. Should Jesus bring noticable change to municipalities?
  5. What might be the repurcussions of a continent like North America or Europe rejecting Jesus when Africa and South America honour him?

Going Deeper

The various reactions to Jesus in this passage reflect the range of responses to the question of who Jesus is.  The two most prominent responses come from the disciples and the Jewish Leadership – views that cannot be more opposed.  The disciples regard Jesus as the Promised King through whom God has been working with great power, as evidenced by the miracles. In him is peace and glory, the presence of the gracious authority from heaven.  the leadership, on the other hand, sees the claims as exaggerated, even as something Jesus should not accept (v. 39).  Luke’s readers of every age are asked in effect to choose sides.  Jesus’ appeal to creation shows how fundamental the claims of the disciples are.  Even creation knows they are true.  The whole narrative structure of the passage challenges us to ask ourselves where we place Jesus:  Is he the humble king of peace and glory or not? (Bock)

Genesis’ song ‘Dusk’ mentions Jesus directly.  At the end of the song it seems to talk about moving beyond Jesus and forgetting him.  What do you think this song is saying?  What are the implications?

http://batlyrics.com/dusk-lyrics-genesis.html

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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