hosanna

March 16, 2008

hosanna.jpg

I used to think this popular holy-week-word meant something like “praise God.”  It’s actually a Hebrew expression that means, literally, “save now.”  Psalm 118:25 in one word.

Kind of makes the palm branches seem a little more militant (than celebrative), huh?  God’s approach to His Kingdom coming here and now seems so diametrically opposed to our propensity to force the same. 

Another time, tears came to Jesus when he looked out over Jerusalem and realized the fate awaiting that fabled city.  He let out a cry … “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”  I sense in that spasm of emotional pain something akin to what a parent feels when a son or daughter goes astray, flaunting freedom, rejecting everything he or she was brought up to believe.  Or the pain of a man or woman who has just learned a spouse has left — the pain of a jilted lover.  It is a helpless, crushing pain of futility, and it staggers me to realize that the Son of God himself emitted a cry of helplessness in the face of human freedom. 

–Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

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