Hosanna by Casey J Song Devotional

Posted by Andrew Stansbury on 30 March 2020

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, He was celebrated, adored and worshipped by the same people who, days later, demanded His death. As we celebrate Palm Sunday, let us reflect on how we can be people who celebrate God consistently, both when He’s being obviously glorious and when He’s working in ways we don’t expect and cannot yet understand.

 

 

THOUGHT

Jesus lived on earth during a time when Israel was ruled by the Romans. It was yet another chapter of Israel’s story where they’d lived as subjects under the authority of an invader. They’d been under the hand of the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Persians and now it was the Romans.

Yet throughout the many, many years of being dominated by other nations and powers, God constantly wove a promise into the declarations of His Prophets; that a Messiah would one day come and liberate Israel from their oppressors.

Through these prophesies, Jews believed that the Messiah would be a warrior king who would overthrow the force ruling Israel.[1] So when Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on the back of a colt, there must have been a palpable sense that this could be the man sent by God to liberate His people, as promised by the Prophets.

 

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Mark 11.9-10 NIV

 

How bittersweet it must have been for Jesus!

Imagine Him as He rode into the city, hearing the crowds shouting, honouring and praising Him, whilst knowing that they would soon turn their backs and reject Him. What a painful entry into Jerusalem it must have been.

It might seem unbelievable to us that these worshippers of Jesus would, in just a few chapters of the Bible, become those who sentenced Him to death, yet we should not be too quick to judge them.

They ultimately turned away from Jesus because He didn’t fulfil their expectations of Him; He didn’t do what they expected or wanted Him to. They celebrated Him while He seemed to be living up to their framework and understanding of the ‘Messiah’, but turned from Him when it looked like He wasn’t going to meet their expectations of Him.

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself unsure of what God is doing and wishing He would do something a bit more in keeping with my ideas and plan. At times I’ve been on a certain track with God, sure we were heading in one direction, only for things to suddenly change and for God to take me an unexpected way.

As we come to Palm Sunday, we might already know the end of the story; that Jesus didn’t come to be a battle general, but came to die, to serve and be rejected so He could take onto Himself the consequences of our sin. Yet often in life we don’t know how things are going to unfold and we can’t just read how our circumstances will end! As we reflect on the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, let us remember that we worship Him not because He always does what we expect or want Him to, but because He is God.

 

 

INVITATION

Over the 3 verses of Hosanna, by Casey J Hobbs, we get the chance to praise God in 3 of life’s seasons. Firstly, when God is obviously at work in our lives, like Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Secondly, when God seems to have given up or disappeared, as when Jesus died on the cross, and, finally, when we are expectantly holding onto a promise of God that hasn’t yet been fulfilled, like that of Jesus’ return.

In the build-up to Palm Sunday, let us remember that even when God doesn’t do what we expect Him to, He is still at work. He is still trustworthy, good, faithful, able and keenly paying attention to us wherever we may be. Let us make a choice to celebrate and honour Him like those welcoming Him to Jerusalem but, unlike them, let our worship of Him be constant. Let it be dependent on who He is, rather than our ability to understand what He is or isn’t doing.

 

 

PRAYER

Father, sometimes You act in ways that are beyond me and confuse me. Please help me to ground my worship of You not on my understanding of what You are doing, but on who You are. Father, I choose to make a powerful choice to praise You and connect with You even when I’m unsure of what You’re doing. Please continually fill me with Your Holy Spirit to enable me to do this and keep reminding me of the truth that You are good, trustworthy and active, even if I can’t see those truths right now. Amen.

 

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