Normally this week is the traditional season of Passover for those of Jewish heritage or faith, (though Easter is on the calendar earlier this year) Passover is the Hebrew celebration of remembering God delivering them (the Hebrews also known as the Israelites) from Egyptian enslavement and bondage. The story unfolds in the beginning chapters of Exodus. Further on we find that God gave Pharaoh ample opportunities to free the Hebrew slaves, yet he still refused. After many plagues, God sent the angel of death to every household killing the first born son, (note: just as the Egyptians had done to the Hebrews, killing the baby boys)
In Exodus 12, the Lord instructed Moses to tell the Israelite people, to place the blood of a sacrificed ‘unblemished’ lamb on the sides and top of the doorframe of their house. The Hebrew word is ‘tamim’, meaning without blemish, undefiled, whole. Yet it means more, it is also the Hebrew description for upright, truth, integrity, and perfect. Used many times in reference to God, one is found in 2 Samuel 22:31
As for God, His ways are perfect, and the word of the LORD
is tried, He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him. (KJV)
Moses instructs them in the same breath, that they were to eat the meat roasted over a fire ‘whole’. Verse 14 of the same chapter declares they were ‘not to break any of its bones’.
That evening as they partook in these events, the angel of death came and found the blood on the door posts and would ‘pass over’ (pesach) that home, saving all inside. Those found without the blood, the first born son perished. Pharaoh eventually released the Hebrews and they left Egypt.
In practicing the custom of Passover they would re-enact this, by story telling. They would also recite what is known as the Hallel, portions of Psalms 113-118.
So it was the blood of the lamb that saved them….
Now we are at another time and place. Consider if you will, you are standing on the cobble stoned narrow streets of Jerusalem’s, there is the hustle and bustle of life all around you when…
WAIT… what is that we hear…. LISTEN ~ do you hear the muffled sounds of a crowd, now the clip, clop of hooves? Someone is yelling something. Who is it that comes riding in on a donkey….. the LAMB of God!
When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their
cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their
cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they
cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those
who followed shouted ‘Hosanna’, Blessed is he who
comes in the name of the LORD, blessed is the coming
kingdom of our father David, Hosanna in the Highest’
(Mark 11:7-10 NIV)
This is where it gets really good, now hold on….
Hosanna is the Greek version of the Hebrew saying ‘yasha na’ (yaw-shaw naw) meaning … ‘save we pray’. This too is taken from the Hallel, from Psalms 118:25,26
O LORD, save us; O LORD , grant us success.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you. (NIV)
The King James says Save now, I beseech thee, (hosanna)
As Jesus rides into Jerusalem, they yell “Hosanna!”, “Save we Pray!” Can you grasp the impact of what they are saying? They go on to yell,
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David’
Jesus was fulfilling the prophetic words of Zechariah 9:9 and that of 2 Samuel 7:12-13
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter
of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and
having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt,
the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
God speaks to David….
‘When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I
will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come
from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He
is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will
establish the throne of his kingdom forever.’ (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
They finish their declaration with again….. “Hosanna in the highest”.
Then…. just 4 chapters later, that same crowd was again yelling, but this time… Crucify Him!, Crucify Him! Little did they know they were yelling the same thing… both times! For you see, for Jesus to ‘save we pray’, they had to ‘Crucify Him!’
Not a bone was broken in His body. It was known that to confirm or speed up the death of the one hanging on the cross, their legs would be broken. In John’s account it states that the soldiers came and did so to those on either side of Jesus, but when they came to Jesus they found He was already dead, instead they pierced His side. (see Is. 53:3-7)
Jesus, the upright, truth, integrity, and perfect Lamb of God, was slain, His blood now covering us, that none should perish.
Loved ones… Jesus is our Passover Lamb! But we can’t stop there. Luke chapter 24. Early, three days later after the death of Jesus, women were said to have gone to the tomb, when arriving they found the stone had been rolled away. When they entered in, they did not find the body of Jesus, yet ‘two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them’ (wouldn’t that scare the Easter bunny out of anyone). The men said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; HE HAS RISEN “(emphasis mine). They reminded the women of Jesus’ words … “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”
This is where we celebrate …. ‘Makarios Anastasis ! Blessed Resurrection !’ Oh the joy of Easter, the story, the reality, the TRUTH.
Hosanna has become a phrase of praise. In it’s declaration it holds the complete gospel story. ‘Save we pray’… that He did!
Blessings to you and yours,
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 ‘You thrill me, LORD!)