Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! The word hosanna (especially in biblical, Judaic, and Christian use) is used to express adoration, praise, or joy. But the actual definition of the word means: save us.
Imagine yourself standing in a line at the grocery store. As you wait to check out, you notice someone has come beside you to say hello. Upon lifting your head to introduce yourself you realize the person standing in front of you is, Jesus Christ. What would you say to Him? What would you ask Him? What would you proclaim about Him? As we can see, in this week’s scriptures, the gospel of Matthew portrays people being in conflict around who this man, Jesus of Nazareth was. Some ran like wild horses to cut branches down to spread them on the road for Jesus while others were in turmoil and threatened — confused by all the adoration, praise and joy.
The world has always been a place where people have different perspectives. We see this clearly in scripture as it pertains to Christ. Some people loved Jesus while others rejected Him. In the end, he was condemned and crucified:
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. (Matthew 27:28-31, NRSV)
The passion of Christ means the suffering and death of Jesus. This historical event means more to me now than it ever has before. Every year my love for God grows deeper and it is because the story becomes more personal.
Passion Sunday has energy to it like no other Sunday throughout the year. The story is provocative, profound and heart penetrating. I can feel the passion burning in my heart already and we are only halfway through the week. Come explore the meaning of the cross at church this weekend with arms wide open.