Summary: Jesus didn’t come to save you from your circumstances. He came to save you from your sins. Even though the people were looking for a Lion King to come save them from the Romans, Jesus came as a Lamb to the slaughter so he could really save them.
A Palm Sunday Hosanna
Matthew 21:1-11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'" 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" 11 The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
Intro: Palm Sunday was first observed by certain Christians within about 300 years of the birth of the Church. Other churches have picked it up along the way as the first day of Passion Week, leading to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Palm Sunday was really all about Passover, because that is when people would bring their Passover lambs to the temple for inspection by the priests. It was a day when many Jewish pilgrims would just be arriving into Jerusalem in preparation for Passover, which would begin four days later. There was a lot of excitement in the air, as people renewed friendships and welcomed one another to the feast. This was what Jesus rode into when He entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey.
-When the people waved palm branches and cried, “Hosanna. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” they were looking for a leader who would save them from the oppression of the Roman govt. Jesus had already shown His power to heal and work miracles – He could even feed an army! Apparently, Passover was a time when Jews became very passionate about their national identity. One scholar said that waving a palm branch wasn’t a sign of peace; rather, it was like us waving an American Flag! They were a very patriotic people and it was common for someone to come forward during Passover and start an uprising against Rome. As Passover drew near, the population of Jerusalem increased from around half a million to over 2 million within a day or two. Every Jewish home was to be open to pilgrims who would travel for days to be there for the feast. The streets would be packed, the marketplace teeming with people preparing for Passover.
-So when Jesus fulfilled Zechariah 9:9 by riding into town on the colt of a donkey, the crowds went wild. They were ready to overthrow Rome. But Jesus had a different plan in mind. Isn’t that like God? Just when we think we’ve got things figured out and are sure we know what is needed, God comes along and says, “No, I’ve got a different plan.”
-See, Jesus didn’t come to save you from your circumstances. He came to save you from your sins. That doesn’t mean He can’t or won’t help you with whatever you are facing. But His primary mission was not what people thought it was. Even His disciples were pretty sure He was going to establish His physical kingdom on earth when He came the first time. Acts 1:6-7 6 So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
-So, even though the people were looking for a Lion King to come save them from the Romans, Jesus came as a lamb to the slaughter so he could really save them.
-I’d like to take some time to dig a little deeper into this. Let’s look at a few thoughts….
I. Hosanna defined
-Our English word "hosanna" comes from a Greek word "hosanna" which comes from a Hebrew phrase hoshiya na.
-And that Hebrew phrase is found in only one place in the entire Old Testament, Psalm 118:25, where it means, "Save, please!" It is a cry to God for help. Like when somebody pushes you off the diving board before you can swim and you come up hollering: "Help, save me" … "Hoshiya na!"