SERMON TITLE: “Hosanna! Save Us, Now!
SERMON TEXT: Mark 11:1-11
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: April 14, 2019, at First UMC
We know the story well. It was the day of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. He could have walked into the big city as most of the other religious pilgrims did. But the time had come for Jesus to make a statement. So he told two of his disciples to fetch him a colt. According to Zechariah 9:9, the king would come, triumphant and victorious, yet humble and riding on the colt of a donkey. And, so, Jesus rode the short distance from the Mount of Olives to the gates of Jerusalem.
Jesus and his disciples weren’t the only players in this story, though. The people traveling in the front and behind recalled Psalm 118 which says, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Bind the festal procession with branches.” And, so, the people shouted out to Jesus and carpeted his path with both cloaks and leaves.
Today we think of “Hosanna!” as a word of celebration and praise. We consider it to mean something like “Hallelujah!”, “Wonderful!”, or “Way to go!” After all, the people did seem happy about their king. They seemed to be excited about the victory that would soon come. But “Hosanna!” wasn’t just a word of praise and celebration. “Hosanna!” was also a prayer for help. The Hebrew word originally meant, “Save us, we beseech you!” or “Save us, now!”
So, this morning, as we remember the parade of palm branches, I’d like for us to think about this prayer. What was it the people needed? What does it mean for Jesus to save us now?