Perfection among us.
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.
The perfect King of Kings enters His holy city. As you may remember from past homilies of this day, the arrival of a king on a donkey was the sign of a king’s arrival in peace. And so, the Savior of the world enters in peace to shouts of Hosanna to the Son of David.
Jesus, God made man, the perfect Son, enters into a city far from perfect. In fact, it was a broken city.
In one corner the Chief Priest and his council were planning to kill Jesus and were not too shy to use bribery to accomplish their ends. They were not afraid of soliciting false testimony or engaging their enemy to accomplish their ends.
The Temple was filled with salesmen and money changers. The House of God was turned into Crossgates Mall. The worship of God was nothing more than a reason for commerce.
There were revolutionaries in the street. There was the persecution of the Roman overlords who took advantage of the people. The Roman governor set up his palace opposite the Temple for all too see, so they would know who was really in charge.
The once great city of David had become a city without God. In fact, God had not spoken to His people for several hundred years. Malachi, the last prophet before the Baptist, pointed out that God loves Israel, but that the people do not return His love. The people withhold what is due to God, and if they do give, give only what is defective. People divorce their spouses to marry worshipers of other gods. Sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, and people who take advantage of workers and the needy abound. Priests tell people whatever they want to hear, suppressing God’s word. Things had not changed in the 478 years since Malachi! Talk about a losing streak! Things were far from perfect.
The perfect Lamb enters breaking through people’s focus on everything wrong, calling their attention to Him. But it would not end there. Again, and again, Jesus broke through the whispers and silence of corruption. The Son of God broke through just as the sun breaks darkness.
Jesus, the perfect Savior, is finally lifted up over the city, and in that moment of salvation He changed the world. He crushed death and its fear and made us new FOREVER. Amidst our imperfection let us set fear aside and rejoice in the King’s power to destroy every imperfection and redeem what is broken.