‘Hosanna to the King of kings’
“And the multitudes that went before, cried saying, Hosanna (save us), Son of David, and the ones that followed, shouted, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matt. 21: 9). The streets of Jerusalem echoed ‘Hosanna in the highest’.” Jesus Christ, the King of kings, made His triumphant entry into the Holy city, – a victorious entry into Jerusalem, a final journey foreseeing death, heading for the Holy Cross.
The people who were eagerly waiting and earnestly watching would have known the Scriptures, which says: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zach 9: 9).
Jesus was given a simple, yet spontaneous reception, spreading their garments and strewing palm leaves along the way. He was given a tumultuous and a fitting welcome, holding and waving palm leaves. He was taken in a royal procession, receiving and acknowledging Him as a King.
The people greeted their king, with shouts of Hosanna, Hosanna. It was not just shouts of praise or adoration of Messiah. It was not merely acclamation of joy, proclaiming, Christ as their Lord and Saviour. But they were indeed cries, seeking help and protection from their King, cries of distress, addressed to their King and God to break in and save his people. Lord, save us, we beseech Thee. The people pleading to their king for liberation and asking for deliverance. It was the oppressed people’s cry to the savior and God.
Jesus, the God’s Anointed One did not come riding on a horse-back in war, but He came like humble king, seated on a borrowed colt of an ass, in peace. Jesus the Messiah, came not to destroy, but to love. Christ the Deliverer, came not to condemn, but to help. Jesus the king, came not in the might of arms but as a king with humility and sacrifice. Jesus Christ, our king, was not making His way to an ivory throne, but He was making His way to throne of wooden Holy Cross. It was His journey to save His people, from the slavery of sin. It was procession, to offer Himself as sacrifice, to relieve His sheep from the clutches of the devil. It was a journey, to give a triumphant victory over death.
This action of Christ testifies to His nature as Savior, but with the definite declaration that His Kingdom: was not of this world. The irony of his acceptance as the new Davidic King (Mk. 11:10) by the crowds that would only five days later cry for his execution should be a sobering reminder of the human tendency to want God on our own terms.
They waved palm branches as He passed, hailed Him as their King; They knew not of the sorrow the week to come, would bring. The glad acclaim and accolade, would soon give way to jeers and mockery, in Pilate’s court, He would be condemned to a cross on Calvary. But Jesus knew He was the price in God’s redemptive plan. He was the Sacrificial Lamb come down to die for sins of man.
Traditionally, worshippers celebrate the glorious and brilliant feast and enact the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem by the waving of palm branches and singing songs of celebration, accompanied by a processional into the Church. Children are an integral part of this service since they enjoy processions and activity as a part of worship. This provides a good opportunity to involve them in the worship life of the community of Faith. A custom of distributing branches of palms to the people in the Church prevails to this day, commemorating the victory of Christ against the evil powers.
Centuries have passed by, generations have glossed over and still He seeks us and those lost in sin, pleading with unyielding hearts to repent and follow Him. On this day we shout our praise, let us not delay; the palm-strewn path of long ago still leads to Him today. Let, the Triumphant Christ of Jerusalem and Glorified Christ of His Churchand Saviour Christ enter our heart.
“Save, Lord; save us, O King! O King, born to conquer, to save and deliver.
“Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.”