Lenten Reader | Day 34


After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

- Luke 19:28-40
This Scripture takes me back to November 2018. I remember getting off the tour bus and walking down to an overlook in Jerusalem. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was actually standing on the Mount of Olives. It was one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. I will never forget standing there on the overlook and seeing the Temple Mount across the valley.

Then we began to walk down a very steep road that led us from the Mount of Olives into the Kidron Valley. I can still see the steep road with rock walls on both sides. This could have been the very road that we read about in Luke 19. I can picture the disciples and the crowds laying out their clothes and palm branches for Jesus who rode down this very steep incline toward the valley on young colt. I can picture this joyous celebration proclaiming Christ as king and shouts of “Hosanna!” Can you imagine the excitement that was in the air? This is Jesus that everyone had been hearing about. Some had watched him teach with authority and do miracles. It was truly a day like no other. I’m also reminded that not everyone was so excited to see Jesus in Jerusalem. The Pharisees were actually calling for Jesus to rebuke his disciples and make them quit shouting and singing “Hosanna!”

In Hebrew the word ‘hosanna’ means to save, to rescue, or savior. The crowd thought Christ had come and would do the very thing they are proclaiming him to be. The Jewish people were looking for physical freedom – to be set free from their Roman oppressors. But God’s plan was very different from what the crowd and disciples were hoping for that day. Jesus had no intention of being an earthly king and taking over Israel. He was on a mission from the Father to be the spiritual king of the people’s hearts.

Jesus is Hosanna for all. He has come to rescue us and be the savior of our lives. We must simply confess our sins, have a repentant heart, and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. He truly is Hosanna.

-Matt Hayes