Greetings all, here is your e-votional…
“The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’” -Matthew 21: 6-11
Hosanna is a word which sounds simple enough. But, do you know what it means? Roughly translated, Hosanna means, “save us, we pray.” This is what they shouted as Jesus rode his little donkey into Jerusalem. No pressure, Jesus. It is fitting that salvation was what they wanted. Who wouldn’t want salvation? But they had no idea what was in store for them. Many thought Jesus had come to liberate them, a mighty prophet coming from the north to free them from the yoke of Roman tyranny. Others believed this was their moment to be healed. The great physician, about whom they had heard so much, had come to heal them of their afflictions. And surely he would offer this to a fortunate few of them. And then there were a few in the crowd who likely had little interest in the “salvation” Jesus was bringing. His presence disrupted their prosperous lives, and threatened the control they held over the people. Salvation, for them, meant Jesus going away.
As we prepare for Palm Sunday and the Holy Week which follows, I ask, what does salvation mean to you? Is it about heaven; about the life that follows this one? Is it about freedom in the here and now; freedom from those ills which assail you? I ask this because, with the benefit of hindsight, I believe we can say that many who cheered Jesus that day would curse him on Good Friday. And many who rightly believed salvation was at hand failed to see it when it arrived. When we thank God for salvation through Jesus Christ, we would be wise to consider salvation in the largest possible sense, in the way that it permeates all that we are and all that we do as well as all that we will ever be. Does salvation reference heaven? Of course. Does it shape our lives today? It should. But it should never be reduced. Rather, it should be seen as something which runs through all of our days, all of our moments.
This Sunday we will gather for Palm Sunday once more. And we will shout Hosanna at the top of our lungs. When we do let us remember salvation is bigger than we believe, bigger than we can imagine. Save us, we pray! Yes indeed!
Prayer: Holy God, we thank you for gift of salvation we receive through Jesus Christ. Help us this day to be shaped by his truth and his love, that salvation may flow through our entire lives. We thank you for all you have done for us and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.