GOSPEL: Mark 14:1–15:47 (Read the whole passion text here)
Today, we enter into Holy Week.
We step out of the wilderness into the chaos.
Don’t mistake the palms for some kind of party or excuse to celebrate. This is the tension filled moment of at the beginning of a thriller. Every detail, every action, every face in the story should be sign that things are not as they seem. This coronation moment on the road in the Holy City will not last, the crowds will not see the one riding a donkey as a king who will save for much longer.
Humanity puts Christ on the throne today…. a human throne of power.
But the throne at the end of the week, the throne of suffering and death is where Christ will end up is the opposite moment of today.
Today, we begin the story. The story we have told so many times, the story that has been imprinted on our foreheads in baptism, the story that our bodies take in when we eat of the bread and drink of the cup… this story is one that we cannot help but tell. A story told each Sunday in the words of scripture, in our worship, in our gathering as a community.
And yet, this week, this passion week, this holy week, the story is told anew. The story of Christ’s passion and crucifixion is told as though we have not heard it before. It is told in old and ancient ways to new ears.
It is new because we still need salvation from sin and death, it is new because God continues to come into our world saving us from sin and death.
No, we do not relive the story, and Christ is not nailed to cross again and again… yet we continually die to sin. We die each day, deaths in a million small ways, the deaths of failures and brokenness, deaths because of the things we have done to ourselves and others, and the things others do to us.
The story is new because we keep experiencing death in this world.
But the story is also new because of what God is doing with us.
God keeps showing us the empty tomb. God keeps pulling up and out of the waters, breathing new air, a new spirit, a new life into our lungs.
The story is new because even with all the death in the world around us, God is meeting and confronting all those millions of ways we die. And God promising us resurrection, God is pulling us up out of the tomb.
The story is new, because God is making us new.
God is making us new creations in the risen one, in the Christ whose exit from the grave becomes our way out too.
So let us begin this week anew, this passion week, the holy week. Let us hear the story that we know so well as if it is new.
Because it is new.
Because God is making us new… again.