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Palm/Passion Sunday C – April 10, 2022

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Palm/Passion Sunday C – April 10, 2022

Palm/Passion Sunday has two gospel readings appointed for it. The first reading is a processional reading of John 12:12-19 that delivers Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowd greets him, singing, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Jn. 12:13). This greeting echoes Jesus’ prophecy (Lk. 12:35). Within the week, those same throats that sang Jesus’ blessing and acknowledged his coming “in the name of the Lord,” would be shouting, “Crucify! Crucify him!” (vs. 23:21).

The second reading is the entire passion account from Luke’s gospel, all of chapter twenty-two and all of chapter twenty-three. This long account stretches from Judas’ betrayal of Jesus into the hands of the religious leaders seeking his death (Lk. 22:1-6) all the way to Jesus’ death (satisfying the religious leaders’ desire) and burial (Lk. 23:50-56). Selected for the Table Talk today you’ll find the passage indicating Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, that assembly listed as “the elders of the people,” “both chief priests and scribes” (Lk. 22:66). “Scribes,” as we presently understand them, does not quite get after the New Testament meaning. Where we would think “professional copyist,” the reader in those times would think of “recognized experts in the law.” Jesus was hauled away to stand before a council composed of the elders of the people, the chief priests, and their legal experts. They convened for the purpose of finding a justifiable way to accuse Jesus of a capital offense… one that carried the death sentence.

Eventually, as they interrogated Jesus, they were able to twist his words into a charge of blasphemy (cf. vs 71). The religious leaders took him to Pilate (only Roman authorities had the authority to issue a death sentence). There, Jesus was accused of more trumped-up charges, principally of being an insurrectionist (Lk. 23:1-5). Pilate passed the buck to Herod. Herod mistreated Jesus and sent him back to Pilate. Pilate announced that he could find no guilt in Jesus and intended to release him,  but the religious leaders insisted that Jesus be crucified. Pilate delivered Jesus over to their will (Lk. 23:25). At every stage of Jesus’ trial, the law is twisted to accomplish the will of the religious leaders who have sought his death. 

Table Talk: Discuss the misuse of the law and how it pertains to you.
Pray: Heavenly Father deliver me to life under Jesus and not the law. Amen 

Luke 22:1—23:56 (Luke 22:63-71 printed here)

Luke 22:63-71
63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, Prophesy! Who is it that struck you? 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 If you are the Christ, tell us. But he said to them, If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God. 70 So they all said, Are you the Son of God, then? And he said to them, You say that I am. 71 Then they said, What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.