"Windows That Look In: Part 5"
Window 11
The Palms & The Cross

As Jesus came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! (Luke 19:41-42)

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'" (Matthew 23:37-39)

The church often mistakenly calls the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem for the Passover the "Triumphal Entry." There are, to be sure, crowds waving palms, spreading their cloaks on the ground, and calling out "Hosanna to the Son of David." But these crowds expect Jesus to become the political, military, and economic savior of Israel. They expect him to usher in a new dynasty in the name of his ancestor King David. But God has bigger plans than the geo-political nation state of a unified Israel…. For God so loved the world….

Jesus weeps for Jerusalem because he knows that his coming there is not in triumph but in defeat. He knows that his message about the reign of God's justice and mercy will prompt those in power to plot his death. He knows that those waving palms and hailing him as the Messiah harbor the desires of the world in their hearts; he knows they will all desert him. So in our window, the author of this image rightly depicts the paradox and scandal of the Cross as the image to which the palms give way. The crowd expects the palms to part and reveal a throne; but the world will not accept the Son of God, for he asks of the world that it give up all prejudice, power, and prestige in order to worship the Creator. Our window speaks of the world's rejection of God in its lust for its own regal splendor. Our window speaks of a God who will sacrifice everything so that the utter shock of the Cross might emancipate us from the fog of our narcissistic stupor and the enslavement of our greed. 

The crowd cheers.        Jesus weeps.
The one with eyes, let her see.
The one with ears, let him hear.

Page 6


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Ionia First
United Methodist Church
105 East Main St
Ionia, Michigan
48846
Phone: 616-527-1860

E-mail: ioniafirst@gmail.com
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Ionia First United Methodist Church
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