April 5th 2009

Hosanna In The Highest

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation.
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey”
(Zechariah 9:9 NKJ)

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
(Psalm 118:26)

A week before they called for Christ to be crucified crowds welcomed him with great celebrations.  It was like a Roman Triumph when the people of Rome would dance and sing and rejoice at the arrival of a victorious general.

In this instance it was not a warrior and it was not Rome.  Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, as was prophesied, and “all the city was moved.  A very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest'” (Matthew 21:8-10).

Hosanna is a shout of adoration.  It means praise for salvation.  By singing it the crowds proclaimed that Jesus was King, the one who heralded salvation.  This, of course, infuriated some of the Pharisees who saw it as blasphemy and who also demanded, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples” .  Jesus answered, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:39-40).

The same crowds who praised Him one week called for Him to be crucified the next.  “Pilate said to them, ‘What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?’  They all said to him, ‘Let him be crucified'” (Matthew 27:22).  It would be like our singing the praises of Christ in church this weekend and the next weekend participating in his crucifixion.  Of course, in a way it is possible to do that:  When we sing his praises but do not put his words into action it is as if we join in the chorus of betrayal.

During this special week that leads up to the remembering of the sacrifice and victory of Christ, don’t keep silent.  Let’s praise him in words, thoughts, and in deeds.

Prayer
Eternal Father, thank you for the salvation made possible through your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me not just to give lip service to His name. Help me to praise Him in words, thoughts and actions. Hosanna in the highest.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

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