Did You Know? – From “The Last Week”
• When Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on the last week of his life, he processed in on a colt surrounded by peasant crowds of welcome and reverence. The leadership of the mighty Roman Empire had also come to the city to put down any problems that might occur with thousands of pilgrims in town. In a sense, there were two processions: one for the suffering people living under the Pax Romana and the other, a column of resplendent cavalry and soldiers illustrating the majesty of oppressive rulers. Two powers and two kingdoms were about to intersect.


Mark 11:1-11 (New Revised Standard Version)

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
11 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
“Hosanna!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.


Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
This Sunday we’ll begin the first of a seven-sermon series beginning with the first Sunday in Lent continuing on through Holy Week, Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday. We’ll be looking at the Gospel of Mark and how Mark writes about the last week of Jesus’ life. It begins with the fateful march into Jerusalem.

I am using the book “The Last Week” for some material focusing on Mark. We’ll look at what this gospel has to say about the ministry of Jesus, his expectations of his disciples, his identity, what was core to his message and how Mark addresses his interaction with religious and government leaders. Additional sources will be used.

Because Mark follows the last week through Scriptural reference, it gives us insight as the earliest gospel written and closest to the time of Jesus’ ministry. I pray that focusing my sermons this way, is a helpful companion to our own walks this Lenten Season as we seek to understand our own lives in Christ. May we draw closer to him and the people he loves so.

We often see the story of Jesus through a compilation of the four gospels, the letters of Paul and others and how we see Jesus in the Old Testament writings. This sermon series will mainly focus on Mark’s distinct take on Jesus the Messiah, advocate for justice and peacemaking. We begin Sunday as his ministry reaches conclusion.

Jesus and the disciples arrive sharing a message that disturbs religious and government leaders in power. Jesus is a huge worry to those in power benefitting from the suffering of the people. His words threaten to disrupt the peace that benefits the powerful. Even the disciples seem concerned about how his message will affect their lives. Even they are worried.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Pam