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Hosanna!

Jesus entered Jerusalem riding towards His enemies on a borrowed donkey. It was a happy day! People were shouting “HOSANNA!”  (An expression of adoration, praise or joy…but literally Hosanna means: save, we pray)

Many of the people along the route that day believed He was the Messiah. They had seen His mighty works and the whole multitude of disciples were praising and rejoicing. Their praises were so extravagant that they seemed to disturb even the usual celebratory atmosphere of the Passover feast. So much so that it says in Luke 19:39-40 that some of the Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke them…but He said in vs. 40 –

“ I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

This multitude of His disciples did believe…but they thought he was coming to right their world and fulfill their desires. When He didn’t come in the way they expected or desired their shouts turned from “Hosanna” to “CRUCIFY HIM!”

What was it to “crucify?”  It means to put to death by nailing or binding the hands and feet to a cross but it also means to treat with gross injustice; persecute; torment; torture;  and to ridicule.

Sometimes during this special holy week  I have been guilty of going from the “Hosanna” of Palm Sunday straight through to the “Hallelujah!” of Easter Sunday…without giving thought to the events of the week between.

I’ve put out of my mind the betrayal, denial, insulting, spitting, beating, the suffering death of Jesus of Nazareth.  I wanted to go from glory to glory but it wasn’t possible because I also wanted to skip the messy condemning uncomfortable stuff.

– stuff like how Jesus ate his last meal with the people He loved most, all of whom (perhaps like me) would betray, abandon or deny him

– that these friends (perhaps like me) couldn’t even do as He requested of them and stay awake while He prayed in the garden

– that the crowd (perhaps like me) would strike and taunt him for not living up to their expectations

– that the people would (perhaps like me) shout, “Crucify Him!” and twist Him a crown of thorns.

– that passersby would (perhaps like me) shout “save yourself” while Jesus was killed never once fighting back or getting Himself off the cross...because I would probably save myself. 

– that Jesus would die with only a handful of women and a disciple by His side. Everyone else (perhaps like me) would distance themselves, backing away when standing alongside Jesus became unpopular or scary.

Maybe if we go straight from the happiness and expectation of the palms to the lilies and hallelujahs of Easter we can avoid feeling bad or any conviction…. but between the Hosannas and Hallelujahs – is where I found that once my very own voice cried out “Crucify Him!” Between the Hosanna and Hallelujahs is where I encountered the Cross!

The Cross – The Father’s perfect plan! The Cross – though we didn’t understand, the prayer of  our “HOSANNA!” answered.

For the people of Jesus’ day and for me — Jesus came not to right our world and fulfill our desires, but He came to right our hearts by fulfilling the Father’s desires to bring us to Himself!!!

Thank you, Jesus! For giving us what we need most and not what we wanted!!! And again we, Your disciples, cry, “HOSANNA! Hosanna in the highest!”

__________

Matthew 21:6-11

6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,

7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.

8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.