Saying Morning Prayer Monday the lectionary took me to Exodus 3. There Moses is in the wilderness of Midian minding his business when a bush becomes engulfed in flames yet isn’t consumed. Moses discovers its God. He’s heard the cries of his people, the Hebrews, as they toil under the heavy burden of Pharaoh, and he wants to deliver them. Moses is his chosen man to carry out the job.
Sunday was a pivot moment for us. We turned to look squarely at Jesus’ death and resurrection in a new way in the season of Lent. The certainty of his trampling down death by death became all the more real as Jesus proclaimed, “the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Moses encountered a similar certainty. The hour had come for God to deliver his people from crushing slavery. Jesus knew he was about to deliver all people from everlasting slavery once and for all.
The Exodus of the Hebrews beautifully prefigures the deliverance Jesus accomplishes in his own sacrifice, a new exodus. As we approach Palm Sunday, we draw nearer to the Passover of God when the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world will be shed for us. But not before we embody the duplicitous nature of humanity. One moment, in the opening of the service, praising Jesus with palms and processions, the next demanding “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Come to church Sunday night, Palm Sunday, ready to worship God, encounter him, experience the joy of Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem and the depth of despair as he’s handed over to death. Holy Week will bring these events into sharp focus, and Palm Sunday begins it all with reverence and awe.