Words from the Heart for Sunday March 25th, 2018
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!”
John 12:13 (NRSV)
The city streets of Jerusalem that day were filled with shouts of victory and praise to the Lord. Jesus was approaching the city in a manner that signalled the entrance of a king. The words on the lips of the people included “hosanna” which means “save.” Did they even understand that this celebration must lead to a cross? Today we can praise Him as both Saviour and King.
Two of North America’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades are in Canada. Held every year since 1824, the Montreal St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the oldest parade of its kind in Canada. The parade features a large replica of St. Peter and includes floats, live music, giant leprechauns and loads of spectators decked out in green. Lasting approximately two hours, Toronto’s popular St. Patrick’s Day Parade draws more than 300,000 people each year. The procession includes floats and bands a variety of Irish cultural groups.
The Palm Sunday parade had one participant and a crowd that would make any modern parade organizer jealous. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem and the crowds came to greet Him. This was far from the first time He had been to the city of God. John’s Gospel records Jesus visiting Jerusalem four times, but this time things were different. This was building up to something like nothing else in the history of the world. God’s redemptive plan was coming to its apex, and while the crowds could not have known this, Jesus did. John 12:13 records this: “So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!” Hosanna has come to be a word of praise. We use it like the word Hallelujah. But hosanna is an Anglicization of the Hebrew word Hoshia na which means “save now.” Without understanding their great need for a Saviour, the crowd welcomed Jesus as He was about to do just what they were crying out for.
These have been words from the heart.