[#pictureLent] Palm/Passion Sunday, April 9: Hosanna

By Madeline Carrasco Henners
FUMC, Luling
Luling, TX

First, read Matthew 21:1-11 

We’ve imagined this scene many times: the young donkey, dirty road covered in cloaks, palm branches and crowds of people shouting at the man humbly riding. As I read through Matthew’s scene again, I am struck by the words quoted from the prophet Zechariah (9:9), “Look, your King is coming to you.” Look!  Wake up!! Your king is here; Jesus is coming to you!   

What do you need in your life? What keeps you awake at night? What keeps you from peace or joy, or both? Because we need to triumphantly and joyfully shout, as Zechariah tells us, that our King is here; he is righteous, victorious and humble. Emmanuel, God with us, not only saves us for all eternity, he also desires to help us every day, in the mess and muck of life.   

So often we feel we need to protect Jesus from our stuff, from our difficulties and worries, as if Jesus was too busy and didn’t have time for our ‘little’ stuff. But Jesus loves you enough to wash your feet, to break bread for you, to ride a donkey for you, and ultimately, to lay his life down for you, his friends.   

The prophet Zechariah and writer of Matthew want the people of God to feel the rush of victory and triumph, the peace and joy that the King coming towards you should evoke. When the crowds saw this king, they shouted, “HOSANNA (save us)!”    

When you need him, do you call to him? Do you call upon the name of the Lord and claim the victory that is yours? Do you shout, without apology or embarrassment that Jesus is the only one who can save you, not only eternally, but within the turmoil and challenges of this life?   

“Hosanna” is a shout, which makes a claim. You would not shout to the person drowning with you “Save me!” This would be pointless and no one consider doing so. But if you saw a boat nearing you, someone who wasn’t also drowning, you would shout for the both of you, “Save us!” When you shout “Hosanna!” to Jesus, you are making a faith claim. You are saying, “Lord, I trust you, you are the one for me to call upon, you are the one to help me in my time of need, you are the one who brings victory, you are the one who loves me unconditionally, you are the one who saves.”   

Look! Your King is coming to you!! Shout to him, “HOSANNA!”

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

1. When is a time you called out to Christ? How did he answer?
2. What is something you need to offer up to God right now; what are you trying to protect Jesus from?
3. What can the word "Hosanna" - "Save me!" - mean to you this week?