The Story of Easter Part 02
Hosanna. It comes from a Hebrew word meaning ‘save, rescue, savior.’ In the Old Testament, the root word is translated as “I beseech thee” or “Lord, save us!” as found in Psalm 118:25. In the New Testament, we read it as Jesus makes his triumphant entry to the city of Jerusalem. As he rode upon a donkey, people laid out cloaks and palm leaves on the road before him, exclaiming, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matthew 21:9). They shouted in jubilation to the One who saves, who came to save. The literal interpretation is “Save, now!”
Our Redeemer came down to us at this time in history to do just that. He came to save. However, it was not how the people thought he would do it. They wanted Jesus to be King, not over their hearts but over the political oppression from the Roman Empire. They wanted to be free from what overcame them in their physical and present circumstances. They did not understand the freedom they truly needed was from their hearts plagued by sin. They needed redemption from the One who could save their souls, from death to everlasting life.
Not many days after this jubilant procession, the days grew dark as the same crowds who eagerly praised Jesus, ready to make Him the King, quickly condemned Him to death, preparing Him to hang on a cross. They wanted a warrior leader riding on top of a grand steed, but Jesus came, humble and lowly, on a donkey. This was to fulfill the words prophesied, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”- Zechariah 9:9. Jesus is the true King, and they nailed Him to a tree. We may not have been present, but it was all of our sins that held Him to the cross. He died so we can live.
By Thy sweat bloody and clotted! Thy soul in agony,
Thy head crowned with thorns, bruised with staves.
Thine eyes a fountain of tears,
Thine ears full of insults,
Thy mouth moistened with vinegar and gall,
Thy face stained with spitting,
Thy neck bowed down with the burden of the Cross,
Thy back ploughed with the wheals and wounds of the scourge,
Thy pierced hands and feet,
Thy strong cry, Eli, Eli
Thy heart pierced with the spear,
The water and blood thence flowing,
Thy body broken, Thy blood poured out —
Lord forgive the iniquity of Thy servant
And cover all his sin.
Our King died in our place. He, the suffering servant, endured torture, humiliation, and crucifixion for us. He did not relieve us of whatever trials, circumstances, or oppression we may encounter but came to save us from eternal separation, reconciling us to a Holy God. He came to free His people so that we may be counted as citizens of heaven, as His sons and daughters! Let us cry out Hosanna indeed to the One who saves us! Our lives here are temporal, but His gift of life is for eternity. Let our hearts rejoice in the true King, for it is He who brings righteousness and salvation. By believing in Him and the gruesome work done on the cross, our sins are forgiven. Behold, your King has come!