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Rocks Cry Out His Name

Luke 19:28-40

The Rev. Jon Roberts

20 March


Calvary Episcopal Church

Indian Rocks Beach, FL

28 And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Beth′phage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat; untie it and bring it here. 31 If any one asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this, ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their garments on the colt they set Jesus upon it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road. 37 As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”


Virgin of the Rocks, Leonardo da Vinci, 1483-1486

“Can you hear it? Listen carefully. Jesus says, ‘Even the rocks will cry out his name.’” [1]

While coming into Jerusalem on a colt, says St. Luke, the Pharisees tried to quiet Jesus from stirring up the crowd. Palm branches waving. Hosannas ringing, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Jesus saw rocks. Rocks that could cry out and rocks that couldn’t. When we look over the rock of ages in the Bible what do we see? Do you remember the rock hit out of anger by Moses and to his dismay water came gushing out to give life? What about the time a young shepherd boy stood in front of giant Goliath with a sling and three small rocks; one is all it took to insure protection over Israel as the Philistine fell.
Do you recall when the prophet Elijah took rocks to build an altar, dedicating his life and that place to be holy and pure? An authentic and true priesthood would come from those rocks. Yet there was anger, fear and labor involved in all accounts. Here, I have brought to you this rock. It dates to the sixth century and it says it came from Ephesus. Those were the days of St. Paul and St. Peter. This rock should cry out, but I don’t hear anything. Could it be these rocks that Jesus saw were those who could not change their ways? Could not accept the truth that he was the Son of God?

In an apathetic culture towards religion, could it be that the rocks are just as numerous today as they were when Jesus walked here? He did nothing wrong! That is what we should cry out but instead we continue to plead for Barabbas, the lying murderer. This is not fair, to see both lies and truth are crucified side by side as one criminal harangues the savior to save himself while the other pleas for his life to be saved by Jesus. We see the daily exchange of lies for truth as the rocks do not listen. They do not change. Jesus should have been released; lived a long life to teach and provide more miracles. Why do you suppose Herod and Pilate became close friends over Jesus and why do you suppose Herod was excited to see him? It’s because he wanted to be entertained. He heard of Jesus and his miracles and he wanted to see them. How disappointing for him that Jesus would not turn his water into wine, so he dressed him up, put a crown on his head and mocked him. The rocks still call out for the Barabbas’ of today. They still mock Jesus. They give false crowns to God. Why did Jesus, knowing his life would end soon after entering Jerusalem, die for hardened rocks? Although we still hear the words that began Lent, “Remember that thou art dust and to dust you shall return,” Jesus says that our lives are not summarized as rocks and dust. Our return is eternal where the soul is merged into the heavenly kingdom of Christ’s own body and blood. This is what we boldly proclaim.

In the midst of our pride and hardness of heart, unwilling to let go of the treachery of sin, Jesus stands before us once more. Do we not renounce the devil and forces of evil or do we relish in our sin while screaming, “Crucify him, crucify him?” Shhh. Listen carefully. God is listening to you. He sees and hears everything that you’re going through.
If only the rocks will cry out his name.

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