Hosanna, the Gospel in One Word.
Just before the hiding of the Easter eggs, laying out the suit, socks and dress shoes, the family dinner menu is completed, OH and don’t forget to FIND the leather bond bible. Palm Sunday. The Sunday prior to Easter. Often at church we sit with large smiles on our faces as the children walk down the isles awkwardly waving over-size palm branches. The worship leader steps forward as we bust out a hardy rendition of ‘Hosanna.’
Hosanna. What an amazing prophetic word. Looking at Mark chapter 11, it vividly explains the events of the day. Jesus and the disciples are preparing to come into Jerusalem. Jesus sends two of them ahead to get a young donkey, “Go into that village over there,” He told them. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.” (v2) I find this SOOOO interesting, how many times do we read a portion of scripture, basically ‘skimming it verbally’ and miss some great stuff. Jesus instructs them to go get a young ‘wild’ colt, one that has never been ridden. How many of us would hike a foot up and over an unridden donkey? Verse 7, “When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, He sat on it.” There is no mention of the first ‘Kings Rodeo.’ Jesus stepped up and sits down, all MAJESTY now drapes the colts back. The colt knew.
As Jesus rides through the cobblestones streets, the crowd begins to yell “Hosanna… Hosanna in the Highest.” Waving palm branches with enthusiasm. It was common practice in the ancient world to welcome home a king or war hero by laying down branches in front of them, liken to our ‘ticker tape’ celebrations today.
Hosanna is the Greek version of the Hebrew saying ‘yasha na’ (yaw-shaw naw) meaning – ‘save now we pray’. This is taken from what is known as the Hallel, (Jewish prayerful readings of Psalms 113-118) specifically here, “O LORD, save us; (HOSANNA!) 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.” (Psalm 118:25,26 emphasis mine)
Can we grasp the impact of what they are saying? Jesus was fulfilling the prophetic words of Zechariah, “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.” (chapter 9:9)
HOWEVER… then…. back in Mark, just 4 chapters later, that same crowd was again yelling, but this time. “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” (Mark 15:12-14) 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!’
This weekend, as we sing our ‘Hosannas’ may we heartfully consider the fulfillment. Jesus riding an untamed colt in a Kings procession, the people crying out “SAVE WE PRAY!” THAT He did! Hosanna, the gospel in one word.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)