I Cry, "Hosanna!"

Holy Week. I have been thinking about Palm Sunday over the past few days, and the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

In those days, the annual Passover celebration was occurring; therefore, the population in the city was comparable to the race coming to Bristol (when folks used to crowd Bristol for the race!).  The word had gotten out - this carpenter from Nazareth was healing people in miraculous ways, even raising the dead to life.  He wept with the grieving, he loved the outcast.  He was going to be King!  He was going to save them from all of their governmental troubles, so many of them thought.

The people lined the streets - HE was coming!  I am sure they expected him to ride into Jerusalem on a strong, white horse, with all of the regalia of a normal KIng’s entry.  Trumpets blowing, banners waving. Instead, he sends his disciples to get the colt of a donkey.  He doesn’t ride in with power, demanding people to bow.  He rides into Jerusalem to claim His position as the Savior of the world.  

Those who were there “rolled out the red carpet” by laying their cloaks on the road and breaking branches to wave in celebration.  As their new king rode through the streets, excitement filled the air! “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” FINALLY, their long-awaited king had come!

I try to envision myself there on the road.  What would I really have done?  Would I have believed that THIS was the Savior of the world? Would I have taken off my cloak and laid it on the road and broken branches to wave? Would I have been among the doubters, only there to watch the spectacle and parade, curious to see this Jesus with my own eyes and make my own call? Maybe I would have been all of the above, in some form or fashion.  

Maybe if I’m honest, I am all of the above, in some form or fashion.

A couple of days ago, I sat down to ponder what “cloak” I might spread wide at Jesus’ feet. I made a list: burdens, pride, my own strength, sin and weakness. (Ironic that strength and weakness are on my list.). 

Somedays, I am so weighted by the burdens in my heart, that I can’t even lift the cloak from my shoulders - Jesus has to do it for me.  Other days, when I’m honest, pride invites me to feel like my work should be rewarded, and that my value comes from what others might say of me - opposite of “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)  Then there are days when I am so strong, and believe that I can fight to figure it out, I’m smart enough to figure it out, or I can save the day by my actions. (Notice how many times I said “I” in that sentence.) Lastly, there are days when I am so aware of my own sinfulness, ugliness, and shame, that I feel like God would be crazy to want to use my hypocritical, broken self to bring glory to His name.  

The crowds cried, “Hosanna!” acknowledging that Jesus was their hope over their enemies, their rulers, and their government. Today, I cry “Hosanna!” in surrender and in praise, acknowledging that Jesus is my hope to save me from myself!  Paul said it well to the church in Rome:

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:14-25)

Who will rescue ME from ME?  Jesus.

So, every day I MUST lay down my “cloak” for Jesus to trample it by GRACE and LOVE. Only by that grace and love may I wave my palm branch, simultaneously surrendering my broken, burdened, sinful life and praising the King of kings who comes to save me - the King who finds me in the crowd and summons me to lay my trophies at His feet, then lifts my head and pardons me from the immense debt I owe.

Ride on, King Jesus.


“I Cry, ‘Hosanna!’”

Somedays this cloak bears heavy on my shoulders,

it’s the burdens of this life that weigh me down.

Some days this cloak is pride that I am wearing,

as if I’m the one deserving of a robe and a crown.

But by Your grace I choose to spread it wide before You now…

And I cry, “Hosanna! Hosanna!”

Save me from myself.

Hosanna!  Hosanna!

I cry out in surrender and in praise!

Somedays this cloak is strength that I’m parading,

Like a superhero I can save the day.

Other days it’s sinfulness and weakness,        

How could I be used to bring glory to Your Name?

But by Your grace I choose to spread it wide before You now…

And I cry, “Hosanna! Hosanna!”

Save me from myself.

Hosanna!  Hosanna!

I cry out in surrender and in praise!

Blessed is the LORD, 

the King who summons me 

To lay my trophies at His feet, then

Lifts my head to pardon me.

I cry, “Hosanna! Hosanna!”

Save me from myself.

Hosanna!  Hosanna!

I cry out in surrender and in praise!