Advent 1 (Series C)
Scripture: Luke 19:28-40
Hymn: Savior of the Nations, Come (LSB 332)
It seems pretty weird to hear about Jesus’ triumphal entry at the beginning of Advent. Perhaps it is as weird as hearing about a Christmas in July celebration. However, the church has used the Palm Sunday text as its Gospel reading on the first Sunday of Advent for many years. It does so because of the deep connect between the incarnation of God and that very God-man’s suffering on the cross for the sins of the world. It is for this very purpose that Jesus is born: to lay down His life as a ransom for many.
Jesus is our king. He comes into our midst and takes on human flesh (John 1:14) in order that He would be crucified on the cross to save us from our sins (Luke 9:21-22).
Discuss what a coronation is, then compare to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
When Jesus is born, angels, and country folk (shepherds), and foreign dignitaries come to bow down before Him. That same King rides into Jerusalem–the city where He will be crucified–in the midst of a parade. The people line the streets with garments and palm branches. These people thought He came to restore an earthly kingdom. He did not. Instead, He came to bring heavenly peace and forgiveness to sinners.
We also expect Jesus to do things for us that He did not come to do. We look to Him for earthly gain. Despite our sin, Jesus still comes to our lives to give us His good gifts and Spirit. He gathers us together like stones and builds a great temple–holy and heavenly before Him. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey that no one has ever used before. The donkey is a work animal and is very humble. His entrance into the world was also lowly and humble–He was born in a stable to a young virgin.
Jesus may be humble and lowly, but He is still the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus is still Man, but is also God. He dies upon the cross and in His death He overcomes death. He kills death itself and gives forgiveness to you and me. In His resurrection, He gives to us eternal life in Him. These good gifts are delivered by His good Holy Spirit in the preaching of the Word, in Holy Baptism, in Holy Absolution and in the Sacrament of the Altar. Jesus is born in the shadow of the cross. It is for this purpose that He came and for this purpose He was born. A king, born to die, marches into your life to give you freedom and peace from all your sin.
We start another church year, remembering that Jesus has come for us. He comes lowly and humble, riding to the cross of Calvary to give us life and salvation. He is our hope.
Stir up your power, O Lord, and come, that by Your protection, we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Published November 2012