Palm Sunday + March 22 & 25, 2018 + Pr. Dale Reckzin Download PDF
Text: Mark 11:1-11
הוֹשִׁיעה נָּא יֵשׁוּע הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא יֵשׁוּע הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּאַ
(Hoshiah-nah. Y’shua, hoshiah-nah. Y’shua, Hoshiah-nah).
The above is Hebrew. Even though I do not pronounce Hebrew very well, you probably picked out the most common sound, “sh.” You heard it in every word. That’s because every one of the five words I spoke is basically the same word.
To explain this, I have to give you a little lesson in Hebrew. Every Hebrew verb, noun, and adjective has a root word. For example, in English, the words “baking, baker, and bakery” all have the same root in the word, “bake.” That’s the way it works in Hebrew, too.
Now, in the Hebrew sentence I spoke, I repeated two words, Hoshia and Y’shua Those two words have their root in the word Yashah. Yashah is Hebrew for, “He saves.” So Y’shua, hoshiah means, “Savior, save!” Now, in English, we don’t say, Y’shua. We say, “Jesus.” So that phrase I began with means, “Save, please. Jesus, save, please. Jesus, save, please.”
Now, that is not a direct quote from our Gospel Lesson. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, they said, "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!" (v 9-10)
On Palm Sunday, the crowds said, “Hosanna. Hoshiah-nah. Save, please!” They were talking to Y’shua. That is, they were talking to Jesus. And so, to make a long story short—on Palm Sunday the Jews were asking Jesus to live up to his name of Savior. “Savior, please, save!”
Of course, that’s why Jesus went to Jerusalem on that first day of Holy Week. Jesus went there to live up to his name. But he did not save the way most of the Jews wanted him to save. Most Jews wanted Jesus to perform miracles of power. Most Jews expected Jesus to be like his ancestor, King David, lead an army, and drive the Romans out of Jerusalem. Most Jews expected Jesus to save them from poverty, disease, and political oppression.
But Jesus didn’t do any of that. Instead, Jesus cleansed the temple. He taught God’s Word. He celebrated the Passover with his disciples. Then one of his own followers betrayed him. Jesus let the Jewish leaders arrest him and put him on trial. Then the Jewish leaders handed him over to the Romans.
So, by early Friday morning, it finally dawned on the Jewish mob that Jesus was not going to lead an army. Jesus was not going to drive out the Romans. Jesus was not going to put a chicken in every pot and a chariot in every stable. Jesus was a huge disappointment. So, since Jesus was already under arrest by the Jewish authorities and in the custody of the Roman governor, the Jews figured they might as well shout at Jesus one more time. But this time they did not shout, Hoshiah-nah, Y’shua, "Jesus, please save.” This time they screamed, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
But that is exactly how Jesus did what the Jews asked him to do on Palm Sunday. Jesus did save them and us by his crucifixion. On the cross Jesus was lifted up to suffer and die. On the cross Jesus was lifted up for all to see his shame and his pain. On the cross Jesus lived up to his name— Y’shua, Savior.
By God’s grace alone, you believe in Jesus as your real Savior. You believe that Jesus has saved you from your real problems—your sin, your failures to resist Satan, your death, and your damnation. That’s why you come to church and sing and pray and worship. You want Jesus to live up to his name. And Jesus has done what you want and what you need. Jesus sacrificed his life to pay for your sins. Jesus saved you from God’s anger over your sins. Jesus saved you with his holy precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. That is the message of Palm Sunday: Trust Jesus! Live up to his name! Hoshiah-hah, Y’shua. Hoshiah-nah.