March 21, 2013 | Devotion #619
Even Herod with his soldiers treated him (Jesus) with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies. Luke 23:11-12 (NRSV)
Shouts of Hosanna! Waving of Palm Branches! It’s Palm Sunday, the Sunday we remember Jesus ride into Jerusalem. The only problem is we will be reading the story of Jesus entrance from Luke’s gospel. (19:28-40) In Luke’s account we find no palm branches, only cloaks spread on the road. We don’t find shouts of Hosanna either. Rather the people cry out: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” (vs.38) The cry for peace should not surprise us for peace is a theme of Luke’s gospel. Luke uses the word peace 14 times in his gospel while John uses the word 6 times, Matthew 4 times and Mark only once. At the beginning of Luke’s gospel the angels praise God singing: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (2:14) The angles announce peace on EARTH, while the multitudes are crying for peace in HEAVEN. What’s even stranger is that Jesus is entering Jerusalem which means city of peace. We know that there is peace in heaven. That’s a no brainer. What is more difficult to see is God’s peace here on earth. Maybe that’s why the crowd cried for peace in heaven. But Jesus came to bring peace on earth. Throughout the story of the crucifixion we will catch glimpses of the peace Jesus brings. One example is what happened after Jesus trail before Pilate and Herod. Luke tells us that these enemies became friends. I find it interesting that Jesus trial can bring reconciliation between enemies. If Jesus trial can accomplish that, imagine what Jesus crucifixion can accomplish for us. Jesus wants us to live in peace with one another here on earth. When we do so, we catch a glimpse of the peace that is prevalent in heaven. But peace is not something we can accomplish on our own. It only comes through the cross and the forgiveness that Jesus offers there. Is there an area of your life where you need peace? Are there broken relationships that need healing? Then asked Jesus the Prince of Peace to forgive the wrongs that you have done, help you to forgive the wrongs that others have done to you and help bring peace to the broken relationships of your life.