March 29, 2021

Lord, Save Us Now!

March 29, 2021

By Doug Ralls


John 12:12-19

Yesterday, we celebrated Palm Sunday.  It’s one of my favorite Sundays of the year.  As we wave the palm branches together and shout Hosanna, it feels like there are few more communal worship times than this.  Although it wasn’t quite the same in this season of pandemic, I still felt the power and joy of the experience.

Now close your eyes and imagine being in 1st century Jerusalem, in the midst of what we call Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as described in John 12:12-19.  We can almost feel the excitement and the desperate hopefulness in the air.  The people have waited so long for the promised “Mashiach,” – the Messiah – the Anointed One, and Jesus leaves no doubt that He is that person.  Make no mistake.  This is, without a doubt, a highly political act.  Jesus intentionally fulfills the prophecy from Zechariah 9, wherein the Messiah will come humbly, riding on a donkey, and will proceed to establish a new kingdom by sweeping away the old.  This is not a random act, nor is there any ambiguity in it.  Jesus is the new king.  He is coming to overturn the world.  And the Romans don’t like it.

The people respond by shouting hosanna, and we echo this cry even today.  But do you know what that word means?  It means “Lord, save us now!”  Reread Psalm 118:21-25 for more context.  This was not a generic request for Jesus to somehow save their souls at some future time.  It was from the gut, screamed by an oppressed people who needed a savior right now!

I need a savior right now.  Maybe you do too.  Maybe our entire world does.  And that savior, that “Mashiach,” is right here, right now.  Maybe you have felt that presence at times.  Maybe like me, you tend to forget what it is to have a savior with us always; every second.  My prayer during this holy week will be to remember that the Jesus who so boldly provoked the Romans by entering Jerusalem so long ago, is the same bold Jesus who has saved me this very minute.