Today is Palm Sunday, the day Jesus entered Jerusalem to be arrested, convicted, and crucified five days later. It’s a day people celebrated Jesus with palm branches (hence Palm Sunday) and shouting Hosanna! If you’re not sure what it means to have crowds of people shouting Hosanna, don’t feel bad, neither did they.Hosanna is the English form of a Hebrew word that originally meant “Save me, please!” but over time took on the more confident note of “Salvation is here!” So when the crowds shouted Hosanna to Jesus, they knew they were proclaiming that salvation is here, but they didn’t understand that salvation at all.
When Jesus didn’t do what the crowds expected him to, they thought they had been wrong about him. They thought he wasn’t the salvation they had been waiting for. They thought Hosanna meant “All of our problems are going to disappear!” And that, sadly, just isn’t true.
When Jesus saves us, he doesn’t make all of our problems disappear. In fact, he promises his disciples that they will have troubles (John 16:33). But he is also quick to reassure his disciples that their troubles will be in this world only, a world which Jesus has overcome. We can have peace in Jesus knowing that our troubles will disappear in eternity.
So go ahead. Shout Hosanna! The Son of David has come to claim his throne! Jesus is here! Salvation is here! Just don’t be surprised if Jesus’ idea of salvation is a bit different from yours.