Posted on 05 Apr 2020, Pastor: Randy Sturzenbecher

Palm Sunday
Sunday of the Passion  
April 5th, 2019  
Live stream only

Matthew 26-27

Hosanna! Lord Save us….from our short-sightedness. 

In the Name of +Jesus+ Amen.

We pray.   Father as your Son entered Jerusalem this day the crowds shouted Hosanna! That is our cry today.  Hosanna!  Lord save us through the holy blood of your Son Jesus Christ.  Bless the preaching of your Word.  Amen.

Hosanna!   Lord Save us!  That is our cry today.  Now more than ever we recognize our need to be saved.   But what do we need to be saved from?

If we went out on the street (keeping our social distance for everyone of course) or asked you, who are watching live, to type in what we need to be saved from – what do you suppose the answer would be?  

My bet the Corona Virus would be on the top of the list.  “Lord save us from this virus.  Save us from isolation.  Save us from not being able to go to work!”  

Some would no doubt say, save me from illness.  Hosanna, Lord save me from Cancer, from COPD, from this disease that will kill me!

As Jesus enters Jerusalem the crowds gathered, waved palm branches and shouted.  Hosanna!  Hosanna in the Highest!    They were asking Jesus to save them.  Much like our request.

Because of our shortsightedness when something like this pandemic comes our way we cry out to our Lord Hosanna!  Lord fix this situation right now.   End my suffering.  Give me what I want.  And then when the pandemic, pestilence, trial or tribulation has ended we go about our lives not giving another thought to Hosanna.

Lord Save us from our short-sightedness.

Passion Sunday forces us to get past our short-sightedness, when we follow Jesus through the crowds, through the cheers and hopes that Jesus would be our bread King, our Corona Conqueror, our Savior from any suffering, we begin to see a bigger picture of what we need to be saved from.  

Judas Iscariot sells out his teacher and friend for 30 pieces of silver.  The silver had become his savior.  It was too late to stop the events his betrayal started,  when he learned the full severity of his betrayal of Jesus.  He tried to make restitution.  He tried to do what was right.  But Judas turned to his work to save him.  He turned to the authorities to forgive him.  And when they refused, he was left in despair, and took his life.  

Hosanna, Lord save us from our greed, from our expecting that being a good person, doing the right things is equal to your innocent suffering and death for us.

Peter.  The bold one who said, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!”  The rest of the disciples said the same.  And when pushed, when the reality of being arrested and persecuted like Jesus became a very present possibility, when they all began to realize what a confession of Jesus would cost them,   Peter denied Jesus 3 times, the other disciples ran and hid.

Hosanna, Lord save us from wavering confession of you as Christ the Son of God our only hope and Savior.   Save us, Lord, from our fear of losing earthly things and living by sight, not faith. 

Today as we celebrate Jesus riding into Jerusalem and the shortsighted crowds want Jesus to save them from the Roman soldiers’ oppressive boot, I am reminded of so many that now turn to Jesus to save them from this little suffering we are experiencing. 

Save us, Lord, from our shallow understanding of our sin,  and the cost demanded for it. 

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem the crowds were right in what they shouted, even if they did not understand how Jesus would save them.  Lord Save us.  Jesus would do exactly that even if they did not know it or understand it.   Jesus would take His rightful place. Not in the city as an earthly ruler, but outside the city where garbage is burned.  His throne would be made of wood, not gold. It would not be adorned with precious jewels it would be adorned with His holy precious blood.  His death would only be witnessed by a few that cared,  and a few more that could care less.    

Jesus’ death on the cross would do exactly what the crowd then and now is asking for.   Hosanna!   Lord Save us.  And He did by being obedient to His Father even to the point of death on the cross.

Our forgiveness is not given to us because of our piety, and it is not withheld from us because of our ignorance.   Jesus’ death forgives us because God our Father loves us and keeps His promise to restore us. 

From the beginning of man’s disobedience, the promise of Hosanna was there.  God promised Adam and Eve and all their children Hosanna would come, bruising the head of Satan while Satan would seem to inflict a fatal wound on Jesus.   

Zechariah told us how He would come to His City.   “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

Isaiah informed us we all need Hosanna. All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;

And Isaiah told us what our salvation would look like.  Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed.

And Jesus did exactly what was expected of Him.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended into hell.  The third day He rose again from the dead.   All of that for you.  All of that so you do not have to carry your sin.  All of that suffering and dying so your death can not keep you.  All of that so your conscience can not accuse you.   All of that so you can live free and joyfully and let your Hosanna’s ring.   

Dear child of God, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday is all for you.   The events of this week are the culmination of God’s love and grace freely given to you through the Lamb of God that comes to take away the sin of the world.  

Hosanna!  Lord Save us.  It does not matter how good or bad you think you are, your Hosannas have found their completion in Jesus.  Hosanna!   Hosanna in the highest!  Amen. 

Now may the Peace that passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.