Luke 19:38 saying,
“Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!”
In today’s gospel reading we find Jesus entering into Jerusalem riding on a colt. The people begin to cheer and shout, blessing Jesus and declaring peace and glory. The words are reminiscent of those heard by the shepherds watching over their flocks the night that Jesus is born. Here in joy and excitement the people want to embrace Jesus as their Messiah. Their hopes are set on him being a national leader who will wrestle political control and restore their nation. What they don’t understand is that Jesus is establishing a new kingdom and their own words are ushering in an era beyond their comprehension. It has nothing to do with political or national power, but everything to do with the joining of heaven and earth in the incarnation of Christ. When heaven and earth touch real peace is the result. This was the mission of Jesus Christ and their words, while not their hearts, affirmed the culmination of this vision.
The declaration of Jesus as king is an affirmation of a kingdom which is not of this world. We are invited to participate with Christ in his kingdom, one in which real peace is experienced.
Jesus experienced incredible violence at the hands of the political and religious leaders and yet he was the Prince of Peace. We live our lives in the flesh and so we feel the pain of this world in very real ways. The kingdom of God is not escapist — it does not remove us from the pain of this world. At the same time, our citizenship is in Christ’s kingdom. Our entire perspective begins to change when we take our orders from kingdom leadership which has an eternal perspective.
Real peace is experienced when we live as children of the kingdom, bringing heaven to earth through our participation with Christ. We don’t remove ourselves from the pain and suffering of this world, but we engage as Christ would engage. We are to be instruments of the real peace of Christ and channels through which the world experiences the kingdom.
Lord, thank you for your life which brought heaven to earth. Please help me to live as your servant. Amen.