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Viewpoint from Rev Andrew King 26/03/2021

ANDREW KINGRev Andrew King
Co-Superintendent of the Norfolk Broads Methodist Circuit 14/10
Minister of Acle, Fleggburgh, Freethorpe, and Lingwood


Next week is Palm Sunday and Jesus seems popular with the crowd as he entered Jerusalem. Yet within five days he was crucified. We may ask what went wrong. Sadly, the truth was that the crowd failed to comprehend Jesus just as much on Palm Sunday  as they did on Good Friday. Earlier Jesus had said, “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”

It’s easy to honour with our lips when we are in a large joyous crowd, like those singing “Auld Lang’s Syne!” on New Year Eve. It’s easy to bless each other with familiar words “Hosanna in the Highest” but I wonder if the crowd really understood would these words meant? Hosanna means saves, but he saves in what way?

dove leftDid they have the right meaning? If Jesus was the Messiah and a King, was he the leader they were expecting; who rode on a donkey rather than on a warhorse? Symbolising a man of peace, rather than a man of violence. He was not the political Messiah they were seeking, nor the leader they were expecting

I wonder if we think the same way that we only turn to God when we want something very badly. If God becomes like a 999 call, it’s important we know His number before we dial it

Equally we may think God enjoys the showy stuff, like those who laid their cloaks on the road for Jesus to ride over. Gestures that get us noticed! If we don’t get noticed and Jesus doesn’t ‘do it’ for us, we quickly look elsewhere for answers

Dove rightThe crowd’s attention was turned, to another person, Barabbas, whom the Romans had arrested for being a rioter and a murderer. So when Pontius Pilate gives the same crowd a choice, they all cry for Barabbas. I don’t think it was because of spite for Jesus they most of them cried crucify him; simply he was the unfortunate one who had to die so that their popular hero could be released

Imagine if the Red Top press were around 2000 years ago. Friday’s headline would have been “Barabbas is free” and may be a minor mention in the small print that the other prisoner was sent out to be crucified! 

Jesus’ words remain true, that people’s hearts can still be far from me. However when we put aside our apathy and indifference and see Jesus as he really is then we gain a new perspective on the world

This Easter may we not be indifferent to the plight of our world, and may our hearts be close to God and one another

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

 


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