Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hosanna--Lord, Save Us: Palm Sunday

Every year when Lent rolls around, the inevitable Facebook statuses appear, "Welp!  Taking a break from social media.  See you in 40 days!"  or "Giving up chocolate or coffee for Lent.  Sooo hard!"  And while I can't judge the heart, fasting from these things means nothing if it doesn't drive us to the Lord.  Our lives are this precarious balancing act; once we remove something, we must fill it when something else.  So unless the removal of social media, coffee, or chocolate is filled with time spent with and a desire for the Lord, our fasting is but a "filthy garment" (Isaiah 64:6).  Throughout the prophets, God tells his people again and again that he does not desire their sacrifices but their hearts in true worship and their faith in Him to do great things when they trust in Him (Hosea 6:6, Malachi 3:10-12). 

I think what the Lord desires more than anything at Lent, during the Holy week, and each and every day is our hearts, undivided and loyal to Him above all else.  While fasting during Lent is a worthy discipline to create in us a hunger for the Lord, would He not be so much more pleased if our "fast," our "sacrifice" was not a woeful self-deprivation but a heart laid bare before Him daily?  What if our fast was a commitment to His Word and to time in prayer?  To draw near to Him?  When we give up frivolous things, our fast often becomes about us and the "sacrifice" we've made (after all, how amazing am I if I gave up coffee AND if I proclaim it from every social media outlet?  Matthew 6:16-18).   

Today, this Palm Sunday, I'm choosing to reflect on and rejoice in Jesus and His choice to enter Jerusalem knowing full well what that implied for him.  Knowing he would be sent to his death on a cross at the hand of worshipers-turned-indicters.  Lets take the focus off of us and consider our Savior.  I loved what was shared this morning at She Reads Truth.  Please take a minute to read and then worship our Lord.

I try to picture Jesus, fully man and fully God, looking at the crowd that was shouting, “Hosanna!” at Him. He had the ability to be all in that moment and to receive their feeble worship, but He also had the scope of eternity through which to view this moment. He could also see and hear pure worship of the angels and He could have (even then) perfectly described the day when He will eventually receive our pure worship at His return – like it was right there in front of Him. 
They cried “Hosanna” (a shout of adoration in the New Testament, but also found in the Old Testament Hebrew to mean “help” or “save, I pray” in Psalm 118:25). They threw their cloaks down and, as the donkey’s feet trod across the palm branches, only Jesus knew the full weight of what they were saying – what their cry of “save us” was really asking.
Only He knows the full weight of what we need when we cry out to Him today.I picture the loving way He considered His children even then, even as He knew what was ahead – even as He knew that their cries of “Hosanna” would turn to cries of “Crucify Him!” in a matter of days. 
For now, to know Him better, the best we can muster is to look behind and ahead based on what His Word tells us – like we are looking at His face in a dimly lit, memory-filled mirror. And yet, we can be assured – just like He was thousands of years ago as He rode to Jerusalem to take part in the events that would utterly change the course of history – when we cry “Hosanna! Save us!”, He will. 
When our hearts betray us like the crowds eventually betrayed our Lord – He still saves.
Hosanna in the highest! Salvation belongs to our God. 
--She Reads Truth, Hosanna, Posted on April 13, 2014, by Raechel Myers in #SheReadsTruth #Lent, quoted in part
Photo credit Buzo Jesus | Unsplash 

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