Palm Sunday (1880

Matthew 21:1-9 The Gospel read has a double position in the church year. First it is at the forefront of the Sundays in Advent, the other time at the entrance of Holy Week. There it has the general relationship to the arrival of the Lord in general; here it has a special relationship to the suffering and death of the Lord. His entry into Jerusalem was indeed also the going forth of His suffering and as such is infinitely important to all Christians. But in particular it is therefore very odd because the LORD, while He otherwise carefully avoided all royal honors, now slumps at once such by retracting under the exultant shouts of thousands of people as a King. Why did Christ hold a royal entry when He set Himself toward His Passion in Jerusalem? Answer: 1. He wanted to express Himself as the promised King of Israel and as Lord, as He a. as He let divine attributes shine forth, α. His omniscience1, β. His heart-directing power2, b. fulfilled Zechariah's prophecy of His entrance3; 2. He wanted to show great willingness to suffer, a. it was even well known beforehand to Him in all His individual circumstances (He, Who saw this in the distance and knew ahead the thoughts and words of people,4 had long prophesied all His suffering5), b. yet He headed to it in triumph, as it were6; 3. He wanted to be recognized publicly and received by His people as its King.7 (Thus we should also now accompany Him, our King and Lord, with our devotion in His Passion, that He also took upon Himself great love for our sake, do not fret ourselves in His cross and willingly follow Him in confession and suffering.) George Stöckhardt

1 2

Matthew 21:2. Matthew 21:3, cf. Mark 11:5-6. 3 Matthew 21:4-5. 4 Matthew 21:2-3. 5 Luke 18:31ff. 6 Matthew 21:6-7. 7 Matthew 21:8-9.

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