John 12:12-19 (ESV)
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.  So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"  And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
 "Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey's colt!"
 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.  The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.  The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.  So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him."
Palm Sunday, and we are back where we began this new year of grace in November, Jesus great triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This whole year, like a long flashback in a movie or book, we have been remembering all the great moments in Jesus life that have built up to this point, our messiah’s entry into Jerusalem where he would make his final stand against sin death and the devil. All those things that finally made the people recognize that Jesus was the Messiah. We quickly picked up at his birth, his circumcision, his baptism, during Christmas. His incredible ministry His teaching of the law, and his command of the gospel, the people he healed, and the sinners he loved during epiphany which culminated in the great revelation of his divinity in the transfiguration, to be followed with Lent the forty days of fasting, the forty day journey with him to Jerusalem, remembering his temptation in the desert, in many ways each one of the readings showing the temptation for Jesus to avoid going to Jerusalem where he would certainly be killed, to avoid the cross where his blood would make payment for our sin. And now we are back, back in Jerusalem, Palms before his feet, Hosanna’s echoing off of golden limestone walls. Hosanna, Lord Save us. Help Us. In you our fathers trusted, they trusted and you delivered them. And his enemies gather, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” The world has gone after him.
If only it were so. Holy week plays out just as Jesus knew it would, just as his Father had planned from the very beginning, the moment Adam and Eve sinned. It is only a matter of days before a crowd meets to jeer him and sneer at him as he carries a cross to Golgotha wearing a crown of thorns. The whole world has gone after him. Not quite in the way that the Pharisees meant, but in the way dogs go after a lion or bear. But Jesus? Surrenders like a lamb to wolves. He knew what needed to be done. The lamb of God needed to be sacrificed that he could take away the sins of the world. And in this he would be our messiah. In this he would answer our prayers of hosanna, even hosanna in the highest. In you our fathers trusted, they trusted and you delivered them. Hosanna. It is with these words of Palm Sunday we greet our Lord, our messiah in the sanctus Sunday after Sunday, as he triumphantly breaks into this world to bring us who trust in him our salvation, the forgiveness of sins in bread and wine, the body and blood that our living lord sacrificed for us on the cross. All because he was not afraid to enter Jerusalem amidst cheering crowds he knew would change to jeering mobs and sneering hordes. Where he would finally die for us in our place, and there he answers your hosanna.
Your Hosanna, your cry for forgiveness and your cry for help. What is it that makes you cry Hosanna? What is it that makes you cry for the Lord’s help? Perhaps youthful indiscretions? Perhaps on going middle age struggles with sin you thought would be gone when you graduated college? I mean am I the only one who thought he might be just a little bit more mature by now? Hosanna, Lord help us. Perhaps it is the raising of children and bringing them up in the ways of the Lord us sinners so often fail at. Hosanna, because our lot in life is to pray our children are smart enough to listen to us when we say “do as I say and not as I do.” We wish to God almighty we could do as we say too! Sinners the good that we would we do not. Hosanna. Hosanna in the highest. Our messiah has come, in him our fathers trusted, they trusted and he delivered them. Now He has come, here once and for all not only our fathers but us as well. He delivers us.
He hears our prayers,
he answers our hosanna
stills our hearts and calms our fears
with his own heavenly manna
his righteousness in body and blood,
in with under bread and wine,
for those who to heaven trod
must upon forgiveness dine.