Our April 5 Palm Sunday worship service is available on video through Facebook. You may view it without being a member of Facebook, but it is a little tricky.
After you click on the picture above, you may get a screen asking you to join Facebook. Click the small link that reads, “Not Now” or on a small “X” on the upper right of that message to continue.
Click on the triangle icon or photo of the church to play. After the video starts, click on the “outward facing arrows” video icon to make the video larger on desktop screens. You may have to click on the speaker icon in the video to enable sound. Sermon text is shown below.
The Good Friday, April 10 and Easter Sunday 8 am service on April 12 is scheduled to be streamed live on the DeSoto Redeemer Facebook page. We will post a direct link to the recording here as soon as it is possible after the service.
Palm Sunday Sermon
Matt 21:1-11 Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11 Matt 27:11-54
It is a strange day today. We have many things happening in the lessons. To compensate, the liturgy is even different than usual. Today is also a Sunday of extremes. We go from the joy and jubilation of the Triumphal Entry of Palm Sunday, to the shock, grief and despair of the Sunday of the Passion. The reason is simple: this is the beginning of the end. Or is it the end of the beginning?
Holy Week begins. It is going to be a very busy week. Holy Week brings many events. Much takes place during this week concerning the working of our salvation. The early Christian Apologists estimated that during this week, Jesus fulfilled over 300 OT prophecies. Many things happen, and the whole world runs through the gamut. It is the beginning of the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He had many loose ends to tie up before he finished.
We begin with Palm Sunday. A Day of Celebration, Our Lord comes, as king. It is the advent of the coming of our king. He comes after the long 40 days journey of Lent (almost, we have a little way to go yet). Jesus now enters into Jerusalem. He enters as a King, as a Son of David, the greatest king in the memory of the Jewish people. He enters riding on a donkey, symbolizing that he comes as a king coming in peace. And, we are told that the people are euphoric. They are waving palms in the air wildly (the palms used in this manner were called “Hosanna,” wrapped in laurel and myrtle, Hosanna “save us, we beseech thee” a cry for the coming Messiah), throwing their outer layers of clothes on the streets for Jesus to ride on, in a strange way making a primitive “red” carpet welcome for their newly arrived king. The beginning of His reign, they believe.
We started the service recalling to a degree that sense of joy. But, the mood soon changes. Palm Sunday shifts to the Sunday of the Passion with the 2nd Gospel lesson for the day. The “Prepare the Royal Highway” of the Advent of the King, gives way to thoughts more in line with the hymn, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”
The religious and political leadership of Jerusalem are jealous. They recognize in Jesus, and the people’s response to him, that he is dangerous. In particular, he is dangerous to them. In a bizarre way, they fulfill the prophecy of the High Priest Caiaphas which followed last week’s Gospel lesson. In John 11:50, Caiaphas had said, “It is better for you to have one man to die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” They plot against him, and have him secretly arrested, following the Passover meal (which begins Wednesday of this week by the way), one of the most solemn and holiest events in Judaism.
There are lots of ironies in the story. The Jewish leaders want Jesus killed. The Roman governor, Pilate, doesn’t. Pilate tries to have Jesus released. Pilate even calls Jesus “King of the Jews,” in a bitter irony to the leaders who have brought him for execution, harking back in a way to the Palm Sunday Triumphant Entrance into Jerusalem. But now, the crowd’s mood has changed as well. They want Jesus crucified, and a criminal Barabbas, a leader of the Zealots, released instead. And Pontius Pilate washes his hands, literally of this miscarriage of justice. But, the greatest irony of all is at the end. It is the Roman centurion at the cross who declares what we gather now to say, “Truly this was the Son of God!”