As I began to read the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a few things seemed peculiar to me. As a child, I held palm branches and yelled, “Hosanna!” I really didn’t know the true meaning of those actions; I just did it. I have to wonder if some people who had journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the festival held the palm branches and yelled, “Hosanna,” but wondered why. What was so significant about this moment?
In Jesus’ time on earth, palm branches meant triumph or honor. It was a political statement indicating that they were saved. Their hero, Jesus, was believed to be the one who would rescue them from their current suffering under Roman rule. In fact, the term they yelled, “Hosanna,” means “save now, please.” Initially, the word had a deep meaning of God’s power to save. Hosanna then transitioned into a joyous shout of praise or victory. We realize that the crowd was throwing and swaying palm branches and shouting “Hosanna” because they thought Jesus was going to save them immediately. We know from John 12:17-18 that the crowd had known and experienced miracles firsthand–they had seen Jesus in action. So what changed? How did they go from believing that Jesus was going to save them to nailing Him on the cross?
Personally, I think the crowd had little knowledge of Jesus. They only wanted what He could do for them and knew not who He was. Luke 19:41 tells us that Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Why did He weep? He wept because He could see their rejection. They didn’t understand that Jesus was coming to save them from themselves. They couldn’t see how they needed a Savior to rescue them from their personal sins. They thought someone, Jesus, would come and wipe out all of their enemies. They didn’t want any more hardships; they wanted the easy road.
In contrast, Jesus wanted to save their souls. He wanted to empower them to love their enemies and overcome the world as He has overcome the world. Jesus wanted the narrow road, and He wanted a relationship. He wants you…every bit of you. He doesn’t want to be a genie in a bottle. He wants to walk this life with you and teach you, encourage you, rebuke you, and love you. He wants you to know who He is.
Susan Proctor & the Help Club for Moms Team
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- Day 20: He Calls You by Name - April 10, 2022