RCL Year C Palm Sunday
Saint Luke 19:28-40;
Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Saint Luke 23:1-49

We have just made the choice of our lives. As I said last Sunday, it’s the choice in which our entire biography is written. We’ve just demanded that Pilate release for us a murderer and an insurrectionist, Barabbas, instead of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It’s true, you may say, that we didn’t actually do it. We weren’t in Jerusalem that day when Pilate hands Jesus over to his soldiers to be crucified. But the choice that the people in Jerusalem made they were able to make, because they are like us. The sin that lived in them finds a home in us as well. We are powerless to control that sin even minimally. Our power and our strength run out before they can tame that wildness and the perversity of a creature turning on its creator. We can turn shockingly easily. We can do it, we have just done it, almost effortlessly. It’s our second nature.

We are trapped, it is true, but we have hope. We have the hope spoken of in the reading today from the Prophet Isaiah: “The Lord God helps me…and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near.”[1]

Amen, brother. Amen, sister. From the very beginning, God made it so. God made it so, that salvation and redemption are only a half-step away. For the One we’ve turned on is Himself our Savior. The One we’ve turned on reaches out for us every minute and every day of our lives. He reaches out for you today in this Eucharist. Take his hand. Let him lead you home.

The Psalmist, I think, experienced these extremes. He knew the power of his sin when he said, “I am as useless as a broken pot.”[2] But a few breaths later, a mere half-step, if you will, he was also able to demand, “Make your face to shine upon your servant, * and in your loving-kindness save me.”[3] That this may be so is why we are here.

[1] Isaiah 50:7-8a.

[2] Psalm 31:12.

[3] Psalm 31:16.