And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:9
Palm Sunday is the day we remember Christ entering Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, amid the crowds cheering and shouting, “Hosanna in the highest!” It is a day of great joy in Jerusalem, as their long-awaited Messiah has finally come! The crowds are triumphantly shouting, “Hosanna!” The original meaning of that word was, “Save us, O Lord” as it is recorded in Psalm 118:25. But by the time these crowds shout Hosanna, the meaning has changed from a plea for salvation, to a declaration that salvation has come! The crowds were thrilled because their Saviour had come, and he was riding into their capital city, about to save them!
But, just a few days later, the fickle crowd had changed its song. Their triumphant shouts of “Hosanna” had been replaced by angry taunts of “Crucify Him!” This was not the Saviour they had dreamed of. They wanted a Saviour who would give them freedom from oppression, freedom from sickness, and freedom from poverty! They wanted a Saviour who would give them their best life now. Ultimately, they wanted a Saviour who would give them freedom to sin! But Jesus did not come to give freedom to sin, but rather, freedom from sin.
We’re not as different from that ancient crowd as we might imagine. Our natural propensity to love sin and hate God, would likely cause each one of us to join that awful crowd on Good Friday! But praise God that He orchestrated the greatest injustice the world has ever witnessed, and turned it into the greatest victory the world has ever known! Praise God that Jesus did not come to save the righteous! He came to save sinners, sinners such as us! We have great reason to shout Hosanna this morning, because salvation has come, and it has come through the cross of Calvary!