Our Gospel this week is Mark 11:1-11, taken today from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “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!” And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Hosanna is a Hebrew term that means “save us”. It seems the people might finally understand who Jesus is and why He has come. They are ready for the celebration of Passover and their expectations are high.
Unfortunately, most of them don’t really get it yet and what they expect is something quite different than what God has planned. Many are hoping for an overthrow of the Roman occupation and Israel’s return as a powerful monarchy under King Jesus. He has tried all through His ministry to teach us that it doesn’t work that way.
Jesus has come to save us from ourselves, from the sin to which we fall prey, and our separation from God. He conquers not through diplomatic negotiations or military might, but by the power of God’s love poured out for us all. We must give up our selfish expectations for getting what we want and follow His path to salvation.
Loving Lord, we are sorry when our earthly desire overrides our connection to You. Help us to see the blessings You have for us and follow Your path. Amen.