Mark 11:9–10 (NIV84)
9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”
He sat, trying to catch his breath. He was exhausted. He had barely managed to escape the jaws of the massive dogs chasing him. But his ordeal was not over. There he sat on a branch that was holding him, for now, while those massive dogs paced below him. How long could he stay out of reach? How long before the branch snapped or he lost his grip? Then darkness falls. He can hear the dogs, still stalking, refusing to let him go. Suddenly he sees a flashlight beam and shouts, ‘Help!’ The stranger arrives and drives away the dogs. He’s rescued.
If you were the man, how would you greet your rescuer? Hopefully, you have never had the opportunity to be in a situation like this one. Yet, you can probably imagine the kind of gratitude and appreciation you would feel for someone who rescued you from danger. You would not hesitate to speak his or her praise to whoever would listen.
That’s the situation in Mark 11. Whether the crowds really understood exactly what they were shouting or not, they were shouting the praise of a rescuer. They shouted “Hosanna!” which means “Save us!”. It was spot on! Jesus had come to save!
Worse than dogs, the jaws of death had already closed around each and every one of us. Worse than dangling over danger we were stuck in the nightmare of spiritual death, doomed to hell. So we shout, “Hosanna!” “Save us!” Jesus came and freed us from the jaws of death. Jesus has brought us to safety with him forever.
Of all that the people may or may not have known, we do know that they almost only shouted “Hosanna!” to those powerful enough to save. Jesus is our king. In fact, he is the son of David that God promised to send who would reign on the eternal throne of God. That throne is one of grace – love for people who do not deserve it, like us. That throne is one of power – power over sin. That throne is one of life – life over death. That throne is eternal – eternity over hell. And all of this from the one who left heaven’s throne in order to take his seat on a donkey. But he chose that donkey and the pathway that eventually led to the cross because he would not abandon us. So, it is right that we would join the crowd in shouting “Hosanna!” because Jesus has saved us!
PRAYER: Hosanna, Lord Jesus. Thank you for coming to save me! Your sacrifice in my place has rescued me from sin, death, and hell. Help me to live my life always giving you praise. Give me many opportunities to shout your praise because you have saved me. Hosanna. Amen.