By Not Known
Palm Sunday was a very Jewish event at the start of a very Jewish week.
The Jewish Jesus entered the capital city of the Jews at the start of the week
when the Jewish Passover was to be celebrated. Matthew uses passages from the
Hebrew Old Testament to interpret this (Mat 21:1-17, Zech 9:9; Ps 118:26; 8:2).
Jewish religious authorities arrested Jesus and ‘led’ a Jewish judicial process. All
this was to fulfil the Hebrew prophecy of the suffering servant who was pierced for
our transgressions (Is 53:5).
However, the week ended with a message of inclusiveness for all peoples. Jesus
came to save the world. Eternal life is promised for anyone who believes in him
(Jn 3: 16). Or, as an initially reluctant Peter put it:I now realise how true it is that
God accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right (Acts
This was not a change of plan. Right back in Genesis 12 the promises to Abraham
included him being a blessing to all peoples on earth (Gen 12:13). The promise of
grace is inclusive of all peoples.
Isaiah 56 anticipates this. Isaiah refers to eunuchs and non-Hebrews as two groups
who were then excluded (eg. Lev 21:16-23, Dt 23:1-8). However, things would
change. The eunuch could come within the temple and the foreigner could come
to God’s mountain and house to place gifts on his altar (ls 56:5-7). God would not
only gather Israel’s exiles, but: I will gother still others to them (Is 56:8).
Easter is for all peoples. This is vividly seen in Acts 8:26-38. A man who was both a
foreigner and a eunuch was baptised as a Christian believer. This is Isaiah 56 to the
However, there are conditions. The eunuch and foreigner had to hold fast to God,
bind themselves to him, love, serve and worship him (Is 56:4,6). God’s offer is to
all, but all must submit to him. The African eunuch had to repent and believe in
Jesus. We must choose Abraham’s God to receive his salvation.
Let’s celebrate the inclusiveness of Easter week. It spells salvation for us. It offers
God’s saving welcome to all peoples. Let’s make sure that all peoples hear about
this. Who are you inviting to the 30 March outreach?