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.
(Mark 11:8–11 ESV)
There are a few accounts of Scripture that I would have loved to be part of, and this is one of them.
It’s one of the first times we see a crowd recognizing Jesus as Messiah. It was prophesied about in Isaiah. It was a beautiful picture–a physical representation–of the worship in which we will engage once we get to the gates of Heaven. People shouted His praises with the full capacity of their lungs. They laid down palm leaves so that not even His colt would have to touch the dirt on the ground.
They led Him into the city where He would take His reign and King.
Just not in the same way they thought He would.
The funny thing is that just one week later, some of the same people were shouting “Crucify Him!”
Crazy how the mood of the crowd can change the point of our worship. Jesus never changed. He claimed to be God the day the people shouted Hosanna just as He did the day He died. Nothing changed.
So I wonder what the hearts of the people actually thought. Some of them were probably mad that He didn’t take them away from the rule of Rome in the way they thought the Messiah should. Some probably stopped believing this man could be King of anything. Even so, I would imagine that most were fickle, swayed by whatever was easiest to go along with at the time. Sound familiar?
I don’t know about you, but without His Spirit moving, I tend to grow embarrassed by my “Hosanna” when the rest of the crowd shouts, “Crucify Him!”
The thing is that right now it is easy to shout Hosanna. Most of our culture is singing Christmas worship music even if they don’t believe the words. Most people respect the holiday. If our greatest struggle is hearing the words “Merry Christmas” a little less often, I would say we are doing pretty well. Sisters and brothers, right now, our world is saying “Crucify Him” a little less often. But what about when they do blaspheme His name. Do we speak truth and praise in love? Or do we stand silent on the sidelines, fearful to say what we know is true because the crowd seems so angry?
While many of the hearts in the crowd on Good Friday were fickle, there were probably some who were terrified of being crucified next to Him. Is that not why Peter denied Him so many times? Is that not why we keep silent while our brothers and sisters in China are enduring imprisonment and even death for proclaiming “Hosanna”?
So this Advent season, let us practice singing “Hosanna” even when the world around us insists that He is still dead. Let us praise Him when it is easy and when it is hard. Let us resolve to share about His great sacrifice even if we stand on the other side of the sword. That sword may be missing out on that promotion at work. It may be being called close-minded for believing He is the way. It may mean a dis-invitation to family Christmas.
And it may be an actual sword.
Let us sing Hosanna regardless.
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Thank you guys for joining us each day! We are so close to Christmas, but I hope we can continue sharing about how God is working in us through His Word even after we finish this study of Mark. Check out the rest of this study to get caught up and don’t forgot to watch the video Austin and I put up each day to go along with this post.