When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task. He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anybody says anything to you, say that the Lord needs it.” He sent them off right away. Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said, Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.” The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them. They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them. Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord![b] Hosanna in the highest!” And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. “Who is this?” they asked. The crowds answered, “It’s the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee” (Matthew 21:1-11, Common English Bible).
Jesus and the disciples enter Jerusalem in today’s lesson. It is the story we commonly call, “The Triumphal Entry.” When Jesus entered the city, he had sent the disciples ahead to secure a donkey that he would ride into the city. We will actually talk about the significance of the donkey tomorrow. As he rode into Jerusalem, people took off their cloaks and laid them on the ground for Jesus and the donkey to walk upon. Along with the cloaks there were palm leaves. It is where we get the name we give the Sunday before Easter, Palm Sunday. As all this was happening, the people were shouting “Hosanna, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the One who comes in the name of the Lord!”
In his commentary on Matthew’s Gospel, The New Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Matthew, Volume Two, the late Scottish theologian William Barclay talks about the word “Hosanna.” It is an important word in today’s lesson.
Barclay shares that in it’s origins the word “hosanna” had as its meaning, “save us.” He says, that the word originally meant, “save us.” Barclay does point out that the word might have evolved by this point in history into the praise word we know today.” Yet, even if we assume that is true, isn’t it interesting that of all the words of praise the Jews could have used that day, the word they selected had its origins in the phrase “save us.”
I find it interesting because that is exactly what Jesus came here to do. He came to save us. As he made his way down the road entering Jerusalem, he was on his way to the cross. He was on his way to save us. “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Blessed is He who comes to save us.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved