Today’s Reading: Matthew 21:1-11
This passage begins with Jesus at the height of his Earthly popularity. News of Him raising Lazarus from the dead had gone viral and just as we do in the 21st century, a crowd had gathered to see firsthand what all the hype was about. The anticipation built as the electrified crowd began to take off their coats and lay them on the ground in honor of the long awaited king. Others began cutting Palm branches from nearby trees and waving them in the air as a symbol of victory. (Revelation 7:9) Their king had finally arrived and the intensity of the crowd could be felt as their plea for help rang throughout the dusty streets, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”*
The mental imagery brings visions of fanatical celebration yet when we read the same story again through the eyes of Luke, two chapters later (Luke 19:28-42) we are given new information.
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” Luke 19:41
In the very midst of this messianic celebration we get a glimpse of Christ taking the first literal step toward his impending death. And, while we can’t forget his deity, we often forget his humanity. We forget that He experienced all the emotion of one robed in flesh. He wept over Jerusalem showing his compassion for the guilty city and His strong sense of the evil that was to come, yet out of obedience to His Father, he pressed on, knowing full well the horror that awaited Him in the coming days.
What an interesting paradox. The crowd crying out for a warrior king yet all the while, failing to understand that this was the Servant King-brandishing a weapon so powerful that it would overcome death.
Today as we sing our, “Hosannas” may it remind us of the cruel cross that Christ willingly walked toward and cause us to celebrate the death HE overcame once and for all.
*Taken from the Hebrew word hoshi’a na & the Greek word (h)osanna which means “Save!” and is a literal cry for help.