HOSANNA! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday and the Joy Belles and Friends will present “Come, Touch the Robe.” In preparation for that let’s give some thought to the dramatic events of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. This was this first day of the week the end of which would see Jesus crucified and buried. It is a very unusual parade!
“Hosanna” was originally an urgent prayer, asking God to save: “Save us” or “Save now!” With use and over time, however, it became a simple shout of praise much like we might shout “Hallelujah” or “Praise the Lord!” It also became a form of greeting to other pilgrims or a respected rabbi.
Jesus’ arrival at Jerusalem is not at all a quiet, inconspicuous affair. What is surprising and so uncharacteristic of Jesus is that he orchestrates a very public and noisy entrance into the city of Jerusalem that can only set the stage for confrontation with the Jewish leaders. But what does Jesus want people to know about him as he comes into Jerusalem in this way?
Our meditation will come from Mark 11:1-11 (there is a background text to this event found in Psalm 118:25-29). Read it carefully and meditate on it using the questions given below:
1. What did Jesus say would happen to him when he arrived in Jerusalem (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34)? And given that, what would you have expected of his arrival?
2. How do you think his entrance into Jerusalem was more in line with what the disciples expected?
3. Why do many people throw their cloaks or branches on the road before Jesus? (cf. II Kings 9:12-13)
4. Can you imagine yourself in that excited crowd? What do you imagine it would be like?
5. The events of our passage today are unmistakably predicted in Zechariah 9:9-10; read that text.
· Who and what is promised in this passage?
· What statement is Jesus consciously making as he mounts this colt and rides into Jerusalem?
· What is strikingly unusual about someone riding a colt of a donkey, especially one who claims to be a king?
6. Why do you think Jesus now deliberately makes a public statement about his identity by his dramatic entry into Jerusalem? What does he want to communicate?
7. How does this episode add to your understanding of Jesus?
God be with you, and hope to see you on Sunday!