25th March 2018 – Sustaining the weary by awakening our ear:

March 22, 2018 Pastor Matt Bishop

We have an interesting service today. We start with the palm procession remembering how Jesus rode to Jerusalem humbly and in peace carried on a colt (Mark 11:7).  A few days later Jesus would leave Jerusalem to jeers and ridicule as he carried the cross beam on which he would die.  And so at the beginning of holy week, consistent with the custom of the church in many places, we enter this contrast by also hearing several texts related to Jesus’ passion, none less than an extended reading from Mark’s Gospel of his suffering and death (the whole of chapter 15). What to make of it?  The contrast is confusing.  But we can be confident that God has given this to us to sustain us in our weariness.
For Isaiah 50:4 says of the servant:
‘The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed’ (NIV).
And so today we hear through the account of an entry and exit on such different terms how Christ teaches us his word to sustain us in our weariness, all made possible by his sacrifice so that we not be condemned (Isaiah 50:9a).