Save Us Now Please!
Today is what is known in our times Palm Sunday, a week before Easter or resurrection Sunday. The Bible calls this time, the triumphant entry, the time when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, a week before his death. This story is told in the four gospels. Why is this significant? This is the only time in which Jesus openly revealed himself as the expected messiah to the world. We know that Jesus’ identity had baffled a lot of people, but a week before Jesus died, he showed himself to the world as the expected messiah.
There were lots of people in Jerusalem at this time for the Feast of Passover was near.
People welcomed Jesus as a celebrity, as a king. The excitement and expectation was great. The king is coming to the city of kings. The same city where David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah and others lived.
People took palm branches and others laid their garments, coats on the road.
Their shout tells us what they expected of the messiah.
Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel.
The Jews were expecting the messiah, the anointed one of God who would bring salvation or deliverance from oppression. In Jesus they saw their salvation; the time was right since they had been waiting a long time for this.
Hosanna (save us now we pray).
This is what we read in Psalm 118:25 O Lord save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Blessed is the king of Israel. People were hailing Jesus as the king of Israel. This is what they wanted, they have waited a long time for the king and now he is here.
The expected king, with an unexpected agenda!
Jesus allowed the crowd to welcome him as king; however, the expectation of the crowd differed from Jesus’ expectation of his mission.
Jesus was fulfilling prophecy. He intentionally found a donkey to ride. Matthew and Mark tell us that Jesus sent two of his disciples to get the donkey. They got it and Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey, which was very usual for kings to ride donkeys. Jesus didn’t send him to get the best horse in the neighborhood, but he sent for a donkey.
This was written by the prophet that the messiah would come riding on colt
Zech.9:9 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. ESV
People missed the irony of Jesus riding on a donkey.
Not even the disciples understood this. The donkey and not a war horse should have given people an idea as to the type of mission the messiah would come to accomplish. John tells us that it was after Jesus’s resurrection that they understood these things were written about him.
Yes Jesus would bring salvation; he is the Savior, but he didn’t come to bring the type of salvation people wanted. He didn’t come to be the type of messiah people wanted.
People’s agenda didn’t match God’s agenda.
Jesus gave people evidence of what he came to do; the religious leaders, those who knew the prophecy should have known. Their expectation blinded them from seeing God’s plan and purpose. Their expectation didn’t match God’s plan.
Jesus is the king, but when he entered Jerusalem, he did as a humble king, as the suffering servant that Isaiah speaks about. In order for this salvation to take place, he must die; People didn’t want a dead messiah and could not conceive that he came to die.
It would be through his death that he would be truly become the King of kings. While people expected a revolt and would lead to a palace in Jerusalem, Jesus knew that just in a few days of his riding the donkey, he would be suspended between heaven and earth on a cross. He is the savior; his salvation extends far beyond my expectation. He came to provide salvation from sin and death, to bring people back to God; he came to guarantee that you don’t spend eternity in hell.
The crowd that shouted Hosanna here, changed their shouting when they realized Jesus didn’t meet their expectation as a king. They missed the point of the type of Savior Jesus is. There are people who follow Jesus like that, as long as things go as they want in life; if you are going to be my savior, then save me from harm, from bad decisions or personal struggles.
Jesus does have the power to save us from things in this life, but his salvation surpasses my struggles or my agenda, my preference. Jesus didn’t die to save you from a car accident or a terminal disease, bad relationship, or dangerous situation.
There is something more dangerous than my struggles, my sicknesses, there is something more dangerous and worse than what you could experience in this life. You and I could not save ourselves from it. It’s called hell. Only Jesus can save us from hell. It is his death that makes you and I friends with God again. Without Jesus’s sacrificial death you would be considered enemies of God and all enemies of God end up in hell.
His death changed the trajectory of my destiny; he recalculated my route. Now people can go to heaven because Jesus made it possible for us to gain access into God’s grace. This is love at its best, this is grace.
He is the Savior or the world, not just of a nation or people group, he can save those who place his trust in him. John 3:16 God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, so whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
He came to pay for our salvation the first time; the 2nd time he come, he will bring us this salvation. No wonder he is call the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. He started our salvation and he will finish it next time he comes. Hebrews 9:-27-28 Next time, he will sit down as the King of kings to rule the whole world. Our King is coming!