Today is Palm Sunday, the Sunday designated to remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Rev Peter Yong preached to us a sermon entitled, “Corona Jesus” from John’s Gospel 12:12-19.
“Corona” is a sensitive word in the world now particularly in view of the pandemic. However, the problem is not with the word “Corona” per se. The word “Corona” means “Crown” in Latin.
The Corona virus has kept the world at her knees but we will rise again. It is a call for us to crown Jesus as our Lord. The Name, “Jesus” is the Name above all Names. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
Today is the 5th Sunday in Lent. Lent is a season for us to humbly contemplate Jesus’ suffering and death on the Cross. The other side of Lent is Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people were so excited to crown Him King, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!”
Instead of mounting a horse, Jesus mounted a young donkey as He entered Jerusalem. Though Jesus deserved a higher honour, Jesus rode on a donkey, symbolising that He came in peace. Jesus’ rule was not about conquering territory but He came to rule in our hearts.
2 Sam 15 recorded that King David’s son, Absalom was going against him. Therefore, David fled the city of Jerusalem in haste. However, Jesus, descendant of King David, entered Jerusalem triumphantly. Perhaps this was to show that where human kings had failed, the Divine human king would fulfil what God wanted to accomplish.
Today, despite technological advancement, we are busier than ever. It took something as small as a Corona virus to make us realise how vulnerable and small we really are.
God doesn’t waste a crisis. Perhaps God is giving us a chance to get to know him.
The next part of the text gives us 3 responses from the crowd:
1. Confusion (verse 16)
Jesus had performed many miracles yet the disciples seemed confused of His identity. If we think our monetary offerings to God every Sunday will please His heart, then we are confused. The message of the Bible is not about us trying to acquire favour from God. All we can do is receive Jesus Christ, who reconciled us to God by His death on the Cross. The offerings we present to God are the result of our relationship with God, not to get His approval.
Some people are taking advantage of the Pandemic, and will make online worship their new way of worship. On the other hand, there are those who will treasure our corporate worship time together in the church after this pandemic. Are we a confused or convicted people?
2. Curiosity (verse 17-18)
Corona Virus may fill us with curiosity. The pandemic may have given us more free time to ponder upon life’s meaning. Rev Peter urged us to be curious about Jesus.
Jesus promised us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). In Jesus, we will have real rest.
3. Callousness (verse 19)
The crowd could see with their own eyes but their eyes were blinded. Their hearts were calloused, hardened by their own agenda. The good news was that God offers us His saving grace. No matter how calloused our heart may be, or how confused we are, we can call upon God to break our hardness down and take our callousness away. The Bible promises us, “Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7-8). Go to a quiet place, close your eyes and spend time with God alone. You will find Him when you seek Him.