Reflections: Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Today’s Reading: Introit for Palmarum 

      (Psalm 24:7-10; antiphon: Psalm 118:26)

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 7:1-25; Mark 16:1-20

Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! (From the Introit for Palmarum)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Get ready! Palm Sunday is coming! This reading from the psalms sets the stage for Palm Sunday. It seems a little strange to address part of this psalm to the doors, the city gates of Jerusalem, but that is exactly where these words are directed. Get ready, because someone who is coming through you is the Lord, mighty in battle. The Lord Himself will pass through these gates!  

This is the same Lord who created the heavens and the earth. This is the same Lord who saved Noah and his family when the world was flooded. This is the same Lord who called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is the same Lord who rescued His people from slavery in Egypt. This mighty Lord established His people in the city of Jerusalem. The same Lord would come into Jerusalem and visit His people. 

But this is not an ordinary visit. Jesus, the Lord of heaven and earth, wasn’t just going to pay a social call to Jerusalem. He wouldn’t just show His face and then disappear again. The Lord, mighty in battle, was coming into Jerusalem for a battle of cosmic proportions. He was coming to do the most glorious of all His actions: to bring salvation to all creation. Jesus entered the gates of Jerusalem to be betrayed, to suffer, die, and rise again. The mighty Lord has come, not just entering into Jerusalem, but entering into you and your life in the waters of Holy Baptism. He has called you His own!  Not only has He entered the gates of Jerusalem, He has entered you to make you His holy temple. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Ride on, ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die. O Christ, Thy triumphs now begin O’er captive death and conquered sin. (“Ride On, Ride On in Majesty” LSB 441, st.2)

-Rev. Peter Ill is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Millstadt, IL.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.