Palm Sunday | Hosanna! | John 12.12-16 |

by | Apr 2, 2023

“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.” John 12.12-16

All across the world people are celebrating the start of Holy Week. Jesus begins his journey to the cross on what we call Palm Sunday. If you were a part of a church that followed the Christian calendar, you might remember being a child and waving palm branches as you processed through the sanctuary shouting — “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

The word Hosanna in Hebrew means “please save us.” Its made up of two Hebrew words — “to save or deliver,” and a second word “please or I beseech.” The people who laid palm branches and garments before the coming Jewish Messiah were pleading for Jesus to do just that. They understood their desperate times of occupation by foreign governments, the Romans presently held Israel, and the Jews were desperate for a conquering King.

What they sought as an earthly King and Messiah to rescue them from the hands of their enemies was not exactly what the Christ had in mind. The Jews of Jesus day were concerned about immediate and temporal freedom but Jesus was concentrating on eternal and lasting salvation. Occupation from one enemy was nothing compared to an eternal life spent with God and freedom from sin.

I wish I had been there on that day — I most certainly would have joined in. Had I been a Jew, I would have heard about this miracle working Messiah who had come to save Israel. I would have stood on the side of the road, waving a palm branch, shouting his name, praising God for coming near his people.

And although that event happened over two thousand years ago, today I celebrate the risen Christ. Jesus, who came in all his glory, lived through a week of hell so that I might retrieve Heaven. He suffered quick rejection of the very same people who once shouted his praise. The glory of the resurrection must first suffer the shame of the cross.

But not today. Today is about praising the One who road in on a colt into Jerusalem, to the shouts of praise, and the hope of humanity. He is the one who defeats sin and death, sickness and disease. He bring hopes to our life and brings us out of grave.

Will you praise his name this day?

Let us shout together, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!”

“O Lord God, we live in a world that needs your saving still. We are surrounded by pain and suffering, difficulties and struggles. People need a Messiah more than ever. Come again in your glory Lord Jesus. Send the power of your Holy Spirit across your land so we might know your strength and love and find salvation in your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen