Countess Gytha Primary School, Queen Camel
Easter Service, 30 March 2017
Jerusalem - PASSOVER festival.
As exciting as Glastonbury - but far far BIGGER
(it was free) - more like our CHRISTMAS
everyone got involved and
people came from EVERYWHERE to join in.
Roman Governor PILATE brought in TROOPS
to keep order…
At the WEST GATE (the biggest grandest entrance to the city)
came COLUMNS of SOLDIERS (bright coloured uniforms, shining swords),
led by shining silver CHARIOTS pulled by the most powerful and wonderful-looking HORSES;
and at the front - PILATE in all his glory in the brightest and best chariot of all.
The crowd was full of celebrities - ANYONE WHO WAS ANYONE in Jerusalem turned out to shout and wave and sing;
Especially those who MADE the rules, like the High Priest CAIAPHAS,
And those who IMPOSED the rules, like the Jewish King HEROD.
One year, at THE OTHER END of Jerusalem,
at the EAST GATE, the back entrance to the city
only ever used by the POOREST people
and those taking out the RUBBISH,
A tatty-looking teacher from out in the country
organised a FLASH MOB.
JESUS got his friends to spread the word that
AT the same time as PILATE was PROCESSING into the other side of town,
THEY WOULD WELCOME THEIR OWN KING,
in their own way.
And so here they came, the poorest, the lamest, the daftest, the lostest PEOPLE,
carrying branches of trees and whatever else they could find to wave,
and WAITED for JESUS to make his way in through the EAST GATE,
past the people taking out the RUBBISH,
and when HE arrived, they THREW their BRANCHES to the ground, and threw their ARMS in the air and shouted ‘Hosanna to the King!’
AND of course, while PILATE was making his way into town in the brightest and best chariot of all, how was Jesus travelling?
ON A DONKEY!
Why did JESUS organise that FLASH MOB?
What was he trying to say?
He was sending out the MESSAGE that
HE WAS A DIFFERENT KIND OF ruler, a different kind of KING:
One who treated the poorest people with dignity and love;
One who went around HEALING the sick and giving BLIND PEOPLE their sight back.
While every other ruler, like PILATE and CAIAPHAS and HEROD, spent their time MAKING life difficult for the people,
TAKING THINGS AWAY from them - like TAXES…
… JESUS always GAVE PEOPLE SOMETHING GOOD to take away;
… JESUS always TURNED PEOPLE’s lives around.
And that is really WHY WE CELEBRATE EASTER:
It’s a time of NEW LIFE in nature
And as we remember JESUS and the way he treated people,
We give thanks for the NEW LIFE he offers to EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US - even PILATE.
PILATE, you see, got interested in Jesus.
And when they met, PILATE wanted to know THE TRUTH about him.
Now, we know that PILATE was under pressure from CAIAPHAS and HEROD and all the other people who enforced the rules, to have Jesus executed, and so he did.
But not before asking JESUS who he was, and what was the TRUTH about HIM.
So let EASTER invite us to ask the same questions:
Who REALLY is this JESUS?
What REALLY has he done?
And - because he CAME ALIVE AGAIN and lives on today -
WHAT can he do for US?
Thank JESUS for the NEW LIFE of Easter;
Ask JESUS to teach us more of who HE is
and what he LONGS to do in our world today.
For a fuller version of this talk, see my Palm Sunday sermon, The donkey-king is coming! Jesus Crowd is a Flash Mob.