“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
It came to me while I was preparing for the day that this day, Palm Sunday, is the perfect time to talk about seeing holiness. The passage from Luke (which is one of the lectionary passages) says,
As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:36- 40)
The people along the way saw Jesus, and say holiness. The disciples had seen Jesus many times, but were starting to see him in a different way; not just as their teacher but as a man touched by God. The Pharisees could not see the holiness of Jesus the Messiah, and so did not see what was right before their eyes. The book of Matthew tells us,
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21:8-11)
One might ask, what did they see? What did they see in this “prophet” that warranted such a welcome?
In the coming week, Holy Week, many sights may appear before our eyes, but will we see them? Will we see the holiness that is Christ?
May you gentle reader see all that our God wishes to show you, and may you see the peace that our Lord will bring into the world. Selah!