six days before
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz’arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. John 12:1
Picture it if you can.
The place — Jerusalem. The time — close to the turn of the millennium. The cultural and political climate is chaotic. The collapse of the world’s greatest social power is eminent. Corruption and greed are everywhere. Various religious sects are in a power struggle for supremacy and the ripple effects are shaking the very foundations of the population’s belief systems.
Onto this scene comes a force such as the world has never known. A single man, riding on a donkey, destined to change the course of human history, enters the stage.
…a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”
[ hōˈzanə,-ˈzä –
exclamation (especially in biblical, Judaic, and Christian use) used to express adoration, praise, or joy.
an expression of adoration, praise, or joy.
shout of praise, alleluia, hurrah, hurray, hooray, cheer,
“the people’s hosannas greeted him as he rode into the city” ]
Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. John 12:12-16
On this “Palm Sunday in the year 2016 I can’t help but wonder exactly how much things have really changed. The world is in chaos. The need for a Savior has seldom been greater. The cultural and political climate denounces The Messiah despite two-thousand-years of miraculous eye-witness accounts of His Lordship. Pulpits are filled with “end-of-the-age” messages and alters over-flowing with new converts to the faith. But are these new converts shouting “Hosanna!” with a deep understanding of what Jesus brings to their lives? Do they realize every alleluia will be followed by doubts, fears and tears?
“Why would you say such a thing?” you ask me.
Because, beloved, the religious climate has not changed dramatically since the days of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. When Jesus comes onto the scene He will sow the Words of Life in the Spirit. And, just as the religious leaders went about the business of killing the Sower and the Seed in that long ago week that changed the world…much of religion shares the same goal in 2016.
Shout Hosanna if you will, but understand this…Jesus must be King over all, or He is not King at all.
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News [Gospel], you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38 New Living Translation (NLT)
In Christ all things are made new. In Christ there is no more condemnation and no further need to earn God’s love and forgiveness. In Christ.. we are rescued from the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of his dear Son,” Colossians 1:13
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!