By Shawn Tomlin
Every time I read an account of the crucifixion from any of the gospels, I can’t help but feel sorrow. The sin which I used to love to indulge in was what He was nailed to that Roman cross for. In light of the crucifixion, let’s focus in on a word that the crowds used as Jesus rode into Jerusalem at the triumphal entry. You can probably guess it from the title of this blog (hint hint).
As Jesus rode into Jerusalem the crowds, laid out their cloaks and palm branches, essentially rolling out the red carpet for Jesus, were shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father, David! Hosanna in the Highest!” (Mark 11:9-10). These people believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but their understanding of the Messiah was skewed. They were looking for a royal, kingly figure, in the line of David, that would deliver them from the oppression of the Roman empire. Jesus was much more than that.
It took the wrath of God poured out on His Son in order for the grace of God to be poured out on us.
As they shouted “Hosanna” they had no idea in what way that would come to pass. They should have, since that had the Scriptures, and they testify to the One who would deliver them. The word “Hosanna” is a Greek word for the Aramaic which means “Save us… O LORD.” This is a prayer to YHWH for deliverance. In a turn of events, God does exactly what they prayed for.
In the coming days after the entry into Jerusalem, Jesus would be crucified. He would die. Guess who was shouting for the blood of Christ to be shed? In Mark 15:13 the same crowds that rolled out the red carpet for their “political messiah” shouted “Crucify Him!” We know what happens next, Pilate delivered Christ over to be crucified.
The crowds, and people from all nations, were delivered from bondage. Not from political bondage but from spiritual bondage. Their prayer of “Hosanna” was answered in the crucifixion of Christ. The blood that they were screaming for to be shed was the very blood that they needed to be shed. In Christ’s death, His blood was shed in atonement for the sin of God’s chosen people from every nation. Now as we are called to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, we see that our sins are forgiven, not in God forgetting about them and sweeping them under the rug, but because the wrath we deserved was placed on the only one worthy enough to take the punishment. It took the wrath of God poured out on His Son in order for the grace of God to be poured out on us.
“The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.”