12 On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “ Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” 14 Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him. 17 So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him. 18 For this reason also the people went and met Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”
I always look back on this moment in scripture and wonder what Jesus was thinking as the people welcomed Him into town like a king. He knew what was going to happen at the end of the week, yet He still continued. I don’t think I could have done it.
Given that the story of Lazarus is only told in the book of John, yet the other Gospels record Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, it is unknown whether or not the story of Lazarus was the catalyst for the Jews to act this way. Certainly, the author thought it was important to mention that the people who witnessed that were still walking around talking about it at this moment.
Hosanna is translated “save us now” or “save now”. It’s original usage in Jewish tradition is from Psalm 118:25-27,
25 O Lord, do save, we beseech You;
O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God, and He has given us light;
Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
We know that the Jews were looking for a savior to rescue them from Roman oppression. This is what they assumed Jesus came for, that He would become a political ruler, a King from the line of David that would rule forever. See what happens when we twist scripture, especially prophecy, to mean what we want it to mean to satisfy our worldly, temporary desires?
How do we wish God would save us now in a temporary, worldly way? What situation are we in that has not eternal significance, yet we continue to ask God to save us in? Is there an eternal significance, or better yet an eternal impact of what we are going through? God knows all and has a plan through it all. If we truly seek out His Will and ask Him what He wants to happen in the situation instead of what we want to happen. Too often we come up with a desired outcome and then ask God to bless it, instead of asking God what He wants first.
Save us now, oh Lord, from our own thoughts and desires and make them yours. Show us your will and replace ours with it.