Hosanna: Lord Save Us
Rev Denny Philip
Carmel MTC, Boston, MA
Palm Sunday celebrates ‘the triumphant entry’ of Jesus into Jerusalem. The term 'triumphant entry' reminds us of the procession of a victorious king. Paradoxically this is the image that Jesus always tried to evade throughout His ministry, the image of a popular king enjoying the worldly powers. But from the early times Jesus is attributed this image. The request of the disciples for the position at the right and left and their discussion over being the first, points to the attempts with in the discipleship community to use Jesus to acquire power. The entry of Jesus to Jerusalem on a colt is a symbolic response as well as a teaching against the popular power notions.
The King on a donkey: An Alternate View of Power: A traditional King is usually associated with the horse, the symbol of power, speed and elegance. The authority of the king depends on the area of his jurisdiction he has captured with his might. King on the horse is far away from the reach of the people and he uses the common people to establish and maintain the power. Jesus, on the other hand through this symbolic act of riding on a colt, pictures a different understanding of power. Against the horse, He brings a donkey, which is commonly pictured as foolish, slow and dull. By choosing such an animal to ride on, Jesus is trying to communicate that a true leader is not the one that conquers and rules over other. Instead, being on a donkey that is slow, He is being with the people, approachable and empathetic to their needs. He is the one who conquers the heart of the people. It is to Him that people cry out “Hosanna, Lord save us”. Only such a sensitive leader can save people. The presence of such a leader fills the heart of the people and that comes out in the loud ovation which possesses a threat to the existing authority.Throughout His ministry Jesus was redefining the concept of Messiahship in the mind of the people. Paul rightly puts it in 1 Cor. 1.27 “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” We often fail to see the essence of the Gospel when we try to appropriate Jesus to our frame of reference of Power and leadership. Only when we open our eyes to see beyond, will we be able to appreciate the full glory of the Messiah.
PRAYERLord help us to be humble to see Your humbleness and transcend our wisdom to see Your glory. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:“Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment”. Mahatma Gandhi