1. As we began worship today we heard the children sing Hosanna. As we read the liturgy for baptism and as the vows were made, we too said "hosanna." And as we read God’s word we heard both the people along the road into Jerusalem and the apostle Paul cry out "Hosanna!"
2. Some of you may wonder if what I just said is true. You did not hear the word hosanna in the baptismal vows. And you certainly did not hear Paul cry out Hosanna. My wife tells me that sometimes I try to make things fit together that do not fit. Is that what I am trying to do this morning? Fit together Palm Sunday, baptism and a reading from the Year of the Bible? Am I putting a word into our Roman’s passage that does not belong there? Prhaps, but I do not think so. I ask that you listen carefully and tell me after whether or not I am.
1. We start by considering what the word "Hosanna" means. It is a word that was used to praise or show adoration. The crowds shouted Hosanna to welcome their hero, their Messiah, their new found king to the royal city of Jerusalem. But there is another, somewhat related meaning. Hosanna means "O Save." Hosanna is a call or cry to be saved.
2. Both the people along the road to Jerusalem are crying out to be saved or rescued. The people shout "Hosanna" and Paul cries out "Who will rescue me!"
3. But, there are differences in the cries to saved
4. The people on that first Palm Sunday expected Jesus to rescue them from their enemies - the Romans. They hoped that Jesus was the Messiah. The Romans who had taken their land and made it a province of the Roman Empire. They longed to be a free and powerful nation like they were when David was king. That is why they call Jesus the "Son of David."
5. We can understand these people. Have we not also at times called out to God to save us from our enemies - our circumstances, illnesses, or those people who seem to make our lives miserable. God, please get me out of this situation. There are many unbelievers out there who never talk to talk, but when things get tough, call out to God. "God, you' ve got to help me. Get rid of these problems for me."
6. But while they are right in asking God for help, they do not realize that their problems are not out their but rather in here - in their hearts.
7. And that is what we confess in baptism. That Emma’s biggest struggles in life will not be with the world around her but within her. How she responds to the world around her. How she deals with her own sin. Some people find it hard to hear that an seemingly innocent baby as Emma can be described as a sinner or being sinful by nature. But Emma is the same as each one of us.
8. We are born with sin within us. As sure as the blood that flows within our veins. We think more of ourselves than we think of God or of others. We hurt others when they do not deserve it. We walk by those in need and turn to look the other way. Our busy schedule is more important than their needs
9. The problem is that our holy God cannot tolerate sin. Paul says elsewhere in Romans that the wages of sin is death. The punishment we all deserve is eternal anguish in hell.