Fabric, Flowers and Fruitage

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Tomorrow is Palm Sunday.  In churches all over the world little children will be given palm branches to wave, and perhaps enter the worship service singing, “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna”.  The celebration stems from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, as recorded in Matthew 21:1-11:

 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” (ESV)

It sounds like such a happy time.  People singing and praising God, children crying out  “Hosanna to the Son of David!” in the temple (verse 15). Little did they know how their prayer would be answered in a week’s time.

You see, the word “Hosanna” means, “Oh, Save!”  The phrase “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!” comes from Psalm 118, a song associated with the celebration of the Passover, and which bears many references to Jesus the Messiah.  In verse 25, the Psalmist pleads, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!”

And our compassionate, gracious God, knowing that we were dead in our sins and unable to save ourselves, did just that.

 “Hosanna in the highest!”
That ancient song we sing,
for Christ is our Redeemer,
the Lord of heaven, our King.
O may we ever praise him
with heart and life and voice,
and in his blissful presence
eternally rejoice.


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