When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, people were excited to see him. They cried out “Hosanna,” which means “Save us!” The people were looking to Jesus to be the one to save them from the oppression they were experiencing by the Roman authorities. They lived in this constant fear. Their faith was shaken by the fact that they believed in an all-powerful God, who, as of yet, had not demonstrated the kind of power for which they were looking. They wanted God to send a Messiah who would overthrow the Roman government and take back their holy city. They wanted a Savior who would save them from the life of fear in which they were living. So when they cried out, “Save us!” this is what they wanted from a savior.
When we cry “Hosanna!” on Sunday, for what will we be crying “Save us!”? We are held up in our homes this Palm Sunday weekend, and presumably for the remainder of Holy Week. Some of us are bored. Some of us are lonely. Some of us are sleepless. Some of us are overworked. Some of us are fretting over finances. Some of us are scared to death. Some of us are heartbroken by grief. For what will we be crying “Save us!”?
In our hope for a Messiah right now, we are longing for things like an end to the spread of the virus, an end to the restrictions and an end to the suffering and death. We hope for a vaccine for the disease, supplies and relief for the health care workers, a light at the end of what is looking like a very long and dark tunnel. We hope for a peace which we do not know how to obtain. And so we cry, “Save us!”
This Palm Sunday’s parade will be different (we'll parade in place, safely, and share our photos). But the sentiment of the original parade will be the same. “Save us, Jesus!” Save us from all that grips us in fear and paralyzes us from living in the peace and joy of your saving work.
Holding you in prayer and love,
Pastor Becky Jo Messenbrink