by Bob Wickizer

Behind the Curtain
Bob Wickizer
Isaiah 45:11-25; Psalm 22:1-11; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 27:1-54
24 March 2002
Palm Sunday

I want to tell you a familiar story about hope and dashed hopes; about emptiness and promise. {pause}

We enter the Holy city of Jerusalem with all the happiness, grandeur & anticipation of a crowd waiting for princess Diana. After all this is royalty we await. The king of the Jews and long expected messiah rides into town humbly on a donkey with people spreading palm branches and their garments before him to ease the way. We give this Jeshua the Son of God the red carpet treatment with palm branches, cloaks, tunics, even swaddling bands for infants were placed before the donkey's path. Nothing is too good for our king, nothing but the best. Our king arrives in triumph ready to take Israel boldly into the future.

After all we have seen this guy perform miracle after miracle. Didn't he feed thousands on the shore from just scraps of bread and a few fish? Didn't he turn water into the best wine at the wedding last year? Didn't we see him heal the Centurion's daughter and give sight to the man born blind? And the talk about him raising his long dead friend Lazarus right out of the grave, can you imagine what Jeshua can do as our king? There's just no stopping this guy. When he gets into Jerusalem I bet he sends Herod and Pilate packing. You just wait and see. We've needed a guy like this Jeshua on our side for a long long time.

Even Pilate was curious about this man Jeshua. With a garrison command of five legions of Roman soldiers Pilate was not threatened but he had heard many stories about this itinerant Galilean preacher performing miracles and teaching the people with gentle but rock-hard truth. Pilate actually welcomed the day when Jeshua would be brought to him. Sooner or later even the best of the roving minstrels, cynic philosophers, magicians, hucksters and holy people ended up in front of the governo ...

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