Palm Sunday. Each time I hear it, memories from childhood of waving palm branches in the air through the aisles of church and singing, “Hosanna! Hosanna!” flood through my mind. My innocent little self felt such excitement just loving on Jesus and showing off my greenery.
However, “Hosanna” is not simply a cry of praise and adoration, though it certainly is so. It is also a cry for salvation, a plea for rescue.
The people of Jerusalem greeted Jesus with such celebration, but also with desperation for deliverance. They praised and they pleaded. This day was the perfect picture of what our earthly relationship with Jesus should be: acknowledgment of His sovereignty and confidence in His ability and desire to save us from sorrow.
Until, like the people of Jerusalem, we see Jesus puts the plan in motion to deliver us from our struggle, but He doesn’t take the path we asked Him to take.
Until, like the people of Jerusalem, we see that His ways don’t look like our ways.
Until, like the people of Jerusalem, we see Jesus implement a long-term plan for the good of His Kingdom as opposed to a quick fix for the good of our now.
Then we turn, like the people of Jerusalem.
We mock. We scorn. We rebuke.
We pick up the hammer and drive in the nails.
Oh, we of fickle faith.
We are the just same as our Jewish brothers and sisters. We are quick to ask, but slow to accept. We believe in earnest He can provide reprieve from our turmoil, but hesitate to buy into His course of action if the battle plan does not match our own.
Perhaps the most amazing part of the Palm Sunday story is Jesus’ response to the celebration of His entry. Luke 19:41 tells us that as Jesus entered, surrounded by such triumph and trust, He openly wept.
His tears fell as He looked upon His children knowing the very same voices praising His name would soon be calling for His torture and death.
His tears fell as He looked up in His children knowing the very same souls who were trusting Him that day would reject His sacrifice and forfeit themselves over to The Enemy.
His tears fell as He pictured the eternal torment and pain they would endure all because they rejected the gift of life He would soon present to them after an excruciating execution.
He wept and He weeps.
He weeps, still, each time a child of His Creation rejects that gift.
He weeps when those who love Him endure the pain and suffering in a fallen Earth, desiring nothing more than to bring us Home, but knowing He can accomplish so much soul-saving through the gifts He has given us.
As His children, we can and should cry out, “Hosanna!” We are still in a state of praising and pleading. For Jesus wants to hear what our hearts desire. He yearns for us to bring Him our laments. He grants rescue to those who love Him. Not all of us will experience rescue the way we would like, but a Shepherd never leaves a lamb behind, even if that lamb must wait a little longer in the harsh elements before their deliverance.
But mark His words.
He WILL rescue you.
He WILL exchange His crown of thorns to give you the crown of life.
May we, with the help of the Lord, live everyday shouting, “Hosanna!” Let us praise and plead! For though we struggle here on Earth, our Father is good. He has, does, and will continue to rescue us according to His perfect will until the last day, when the final rescue will silence the suffering of our hearts for eternity.
*Anything posted on this site does not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of Faith Lutheran Church in Troy, Michigan.