FAITH: Hosanna- Jesus has come to save!
‘Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “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!”
And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. ‘ Mark 11:1-11 (ESV)
I have mentioned here before of the amazing experience my wife and I had in July of 2019 in getting to take a tour, pilgrimage, to Israel! Nearly two years later and we still think about that trip and reference it often. I bring it up for this article to mention the opportunity to stand at the place where many scholars and historians believe could have been the place Jesus was standing in this passage in Mark.
It was amazing to look down towards the Eastern Gate of the old city walls towards the Temple mount. There is a valley between the Mount of Olives and the mount where the old city of Jerusalem, where you have the walls and the gate, called the Kidron Valley. This valley contains thousands of graves dating back to the first century. Interestingly, as you get closer to the Eastern Wall and the Eastern Gate, the cemetery turns from being one for Jews to one for Muslims. There are some deep historical reasons for this, but I will have to explain in a later post.
It is fascinating to me for Jesus to be looking down upon Jerusalem and viewing these graves as He prepares to make His triumphant entry into the city to prepare for His death and resurrection. As He would prepare for what would become what we know as Holy Week, and set up the events for his horrific death, Jesus sees the graves of some of the very people He would soon die for. As He does this, He instructs two of His disciples to go and get him a colt, or as John tells us, a donkey. There is belief He called this donkey a colt because it had never been ridden, Jesus would be the first one to mount this animal.
Today we would not see the significance of the donkey or even the worthiness of this animal to bring Jesus into Jerusalem, but for the Jews they understood very well the scriptural and royal implications. We would see a donkey as a work animal today, not war like, royal, or powerful like a horse, but this is the point. For Jesus, He was coming in not as a warrior with a sword, but as a servant, the servant of God, to bring peace, peace between God and humanity.
‘ Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. ‘ Zechariah 9:9 ESV
You see my friend, the victory of Jesus did not come through the quest of human war, but it came through the sacrifice of God’s love and the obedience of Christ’s spirit.
The people then proclaimed, “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” What they were saying as He came in on the donkey was, “please, we ask and even beg you to save and deliver us!”
It is interesting to me how the people cried out to Jesus something they didn’t even understand, but knew in the depths of their hearts they needed. Although this word is not used in the Exodus account of the Hebrew people crying out in the agony of their slavery, I believe very well it was similar language they used in the depths of their despair. What we need to hear from the cry of the people welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem is the cry of people who know they are slaves to sin yet have no way to correct or change their situation. Then came Jesus!
Then came Jesus! Friends, I plead with you to cry out with me, Hosanna! Although we have been saved through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we must continue to come humbly to the Lord and cry out as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It is more important than ever before to be ready for the final coming of Christ and prepare our hearts to receive Him as the conquering and victorious King!
As we enter Holy Week, I want to encourage everyone reading this article to make a commitment to yourself and to God to participate in services this week, and especially be in church on Easter Sunday.
I invite you to come and worship with the amazing family at Orange Naz Church on Easter Sunday at 9:45 am. We will be focusing on the resurrection of Christ by engaging with the theme, “Light in the Dark!” I will be preaching on how the resurrection of Jesus brings a life dead in the darkness of sin, into the life of the light of the living Jesus. Even if you do not attend my church on Easter, I encourage you to be in a church on Easter and experience again the glory and majesty of the empty tomb.
Hosanna they proclaimed! May we continue to proclaim this until He comes again! You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.
Karen Stevens The above title is a quote from the New York Times. I was listening to talk-radio the other... read more