John 21: 1-11
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”
Palm Sunday: “Hosanna”?
From: Norman Brown, Author
Scripture Reading — Mark 11:1-11
“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” . . . “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” — Mark 11:9-10
The Prince of Peace enters the “City of Peace” (“Jerusalem”) as the people cheer, “Hosanna!,” which means, “Save!” Do they know what’s happening? Probably not. “Hosanna!” will become “Crucify him!” by the end of the week. Perhaps their “Hosanna” needs a question mark.
The crowds took their salvation cry from Psalm 118:25-26. They wanted Jesus to overthrow the Romans and take back their capital city (see John 6:15; Acts 1:6). Had they forgotten his prophecy about going to Jerusalem to suffer and die for their salvation (Mark 8:31; 9:30-32; 10:32-34)? Easter’s victory would be impossible without Good Friday’s surrender to death.
And what of the two disciples Jesus sent to get the colt? Were they honored to do this for Jesus? Thankfully, they did as directed, and their obedience challenges us to be obedient disciples. What about the other disciples? Did Jesus even need cheerleaders (Luke 19:37-40)and crowds waving branches and throwing cloaks to carpet the way for the Messiah?
Sadly, the crowds’ cheers would soon turn into jeers. So it goes when a hero—even God—doesn’t give us what we want.
But today we know who Jesus is and who and whose we are. Do our “Hosannas” ring true? Do we believe in and honor the one who saves?
Lord, too often we cry for you to save us on our own terms. Please save us and mold us to honor you— on your terms and for your glory. In your name we pray. Amen.
From: Our Daily Journey
Sipping tea at a café, I saw two women sit down at different tables. One, young and attractive, was downing a drink topped with a mountain of whipped cream. Shopping bags sat at her feet like obedient pets. The other, about the same age, gripped a metal walker as she moved to her table. Thick plastic braces guarded her ankles. The clerk at the register had to help her maneuver into her seat. As I looked at the two women, I wondered, Why does God seem to allow some to suffer much more than others?
When Job lost his children, money, and health, his friends tried to explain why it had occurred. They supposed it was payback for sin, but God said Job was “the finest man in all the earth” (Job 1:8).
Clearly sin isn’t always the source of suffering. Yet when we’re desperate for relief, we look for answers. We ask questions such as “Why?” and, “Is it God’s will for me to suffer?” instead of pursuing God Himself. Job fell into this trap when he demanded: “What have I done wrong? . . . Why do you turn away from me? Why do you treat me as your enemy?” (Job 13:23-24).
Ultimately, Job’s questions were left unanswered. God didn’t explain that unseen evil had caused his suffering (Ephesians 6:12). But Job wasn’t left unsatisfied. God satisfied him by simply revealing Himself. After He showed him His provision and majesty in creation, Job declared, “Now I have seen you with my own eyes” (Job 42:5). And God blessed Job with twice the possessions he’d lost, children, and 140 more years (Job 42:10-17).
Though we might not understand why God allows us to suffer, we can continue pursuing Him, knowing “the Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him” (Lamentations 3:25).
Purity is not innocence— it is much more than that. Purity is the result of continued spiritual harmony with God. We have to grow in purity. Our life with God may be right and our inner purity unblemished, yet occasionally our outer life may become spotted and stained. God intentionally does not protect us from this possibility, because this is the way we recognize the necessity of maintaining our spiritual vision through personal purity. If the outer level of our spiritual life with God is impaired to the slightest degree, we must put everything else aside until we make it right. Remember that spiritual vision depends on our character— it is “the pure in heart” who “see God.”
God makes us pure by an act of His sovereign grace, but we still have something that we must carefully watch. It is through our bodily life coming in contact with other people and other points of view that we tend to become tarnished. Not only must our “inner sanctuary” be kept right with God, but also the “outer courts” must be brought into perfect harmony with the purity God gives us through His grace. Our spiritual vision and understanding is immediately blurred when our “outer court” is stained. If we want to maintain personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean refusing to do or even think certain things. And some things that are acceptable for others will become unacceptable for us.
A practical help in keeping your personal purity unblemished in your relations with other people is to begin to see them as God does. Say to yourself, “That man or that woman is perfect in Christ Jesus! That friend or that relative is perfect in Christ Jesus!”