Jesus’ Hour Has Come…For You! Reflections on Passion Sunday

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Can you imagine a church with this marquee? “Come now this Holy Week—sin and death and other unpleasantries—for you!” How do you soften that? With a honey-glazed ham and candy?

We stand on beginning of a new week, Holy Week, but to properly celebrate this week, to properly wave our palm branches and sing our hosannas—to properly sing our alleluias next week—we need to take the long view. We need to see where this thing ends.

Many churches—homes too—have crucifixes prominently displayed for this very reason. In my office at church I have one on the desk and one above the door—first thing to see when I come to church and the last thing to see when I leave –Christ and Him crucified. Those images—and what they remind us of, Good Friday—it helps. Because when we look around, it’s not always so good. And it is so easy to get all wrapped up in it, to maybe even despair? To worry? To fret?

Repent. Holy Week is for you. Repent, for apart from this man, this God-man sitting on a borrowed donkey and put on a borrowed cross and lain in a borrowed tomb, there is no hope for you.

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

The church has a long-standing history, throughout Lent and towards the end of Lent to read the Passion of our Lord again. These people we encounter in Mark’s Gospel over the last days  and hours of Jesus’ life, they are an awful lot like us, no?

It starts on Palm Sunday. The voices raised and the palms waving and the shouts go up: “Hosanna! Lord Save us!” What a prayer! What a cry! And how many of those same voices shouted “crucify” later in the week? How could they—you might ask? How could we?

And how could Judas betray him? And Peter disown him? And how could we? How could we fail to confess the same of Jesus. Out of fear? Fear for what they might think; what they might say.

And how could they all fall asleep—not one hour could they keep watch with Jesus? And how could we? How could we be so bold for Jesus one moment and fail to watch and pray, watch and pray…

And how could that trial be such a farce? How could all those witnesses tell so many lies? How could Herod want to see Jesus, but only for a miracle show? How could Pilate think he could actually wash his hands of this man’s blood? How could they be so cruel as to spit on Jesus, mock him, crown him with thorns, beat him again and again?

How could they want Barabbas? (And, what a beautiful picture of grace, the guilty goes free; the innocent one condemned.)

How could they kill the Lord of life? And forgive me, for asking the wrong questions. For as much as we can see ourselves in this story, the right question to ask is this: How could Jesus?

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

The glory hour for Jesus has come. To be the Christ. He goes all the way, too, and not just for those who shout “hosanna”; and not just for those who shout “crucify”; but also for you.

The glory of this week: Jesus hour has come for you.

This week is what Christianity is all about.  We cannot reach God, so He comes down to us.  He becomes our sin.  It is Holy Week.  Let’s follow on, because as painful as it may get, the smell of lilies will soon be in the air.

Wave your palm branches and sing your hosannas. And to celebrate properly, take the long-view. See where this week ends. He has answered your prayer. Find a place that tells the story this week, not because you don’t know the story, but because you love the story, and through the story He loves you.

Let this week heal your sin-sick soul, bind up your broken heart, restore your courage and your faith. Do not merely weep for your Lord, but rejoice and sing Hosanna. The will of the Father is seen on the cross. The Name of the Father is glorified there. Life through death. The old has gone, the new has come. And you are his.

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 

Jesus’ hour has come. For you. Hosanna in the highest!

John Bortulin

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