Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
They watched feeling it deep inside of them. The anticipation, longing and hope, the years of struggle and challenges and occupation that weighed down on them, it had taken its toll. Now though, like so many answered prayers, he rode into Jerusalem, that holy city, the once mighty seat of power for Israel, on the back of a donkey, like a king returning to his capital.
The words of the prophet had to ring in their ears, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9) The jubilation would become contagious as the crowds would begin to cry out, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matthew 21:9)
Though none were old enough to remember the Maccabean revolt, the stories of Judah Maccabee and Jonathan Apphus perhaps came to mind. Yet he, this Jesus of Nazareth, would be greater. He had already fed the masses with a few loaves and fishes, and raised the dead. He would have an army that didn’t rely on supply lines, that didn’t have to worry about being cut down, that could stand against any weapon or army. What power could stand against them? He was the answers to their yearning and their longing.
Even the word, “Hosanna”, though now a cry of praise, it was originally an appeal to be delivered.
Yet, God had a different plan. For as much as the people looked to the Christ to be an earthly redemption for the nation of Israel, God’s design was something different all together.
How often is that our lives? How often do we think we know what’s right? How often do we think we know how it’s suppose to work out? How often do we make our own plans and try to attribute them to God, somehow believing we know, when, honestly, we don’t? Suddenly we realize that, for as much as we may have believed this was what God has intended, He had something entirely different in mind for us.
Often, for as much as me may think that we have it all figured out, we don’t. More often than not, there is a vast difference between what we think or how we think it should be and what God does. This isn’t because God doesn’t understand us or what we need. It’s because He understands better than we do, and He can more clearly see how it all needs to be.
Our goal shouldn’t be to force our will or desires, our hopes and longings on God. It should be to let Him lead us to where we need to be, knowing that He knows what is best for our lives. It should be to say “Your will be done” and to truly believe it, knowing that though it may lead us to entirely different places than we may have otherwise thought it is ultimately what is best for us because His ways are higher.
Pray, cry out hosanna dear brothers and sisters, but as you do, let God’s grace, mercy and redemption lead you, even as it paved that path to salvation as Christ rode to Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday.
Now may the peace of the Lord that transcends all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus even unto life everlasting. Amen.