Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:1-46, Ezekiel 16:10-13, Zechariah 9:9
Only Jesus knew the gravity of what the crowd was asking when they shouted “Hosanna!” that day.
It was a shout of adoration but it was also a plea, because the word “Hosanna” literally means, “Come save us now!” And this is exactly what He would do.
The next day, Jesus walked into the temple, flipping over tables and tossing money to the floor. The hosanna-shouters must have been shocked to see the man on the donkey driving the sellers out of the temple with such authority. “My house will be called a house of prayer,” Jesus said to them. “But you are making it a den of thieves!” (Matthew 21:13).
But it’s what He did next that was truly radical: He invited the least inside.
The blind, the lame, the children all came in and Jesus welcomed them, healed them, confirmed their place among Him (vv. 14-15). He cleared out those who had profaned the temple and ushered in those who humbly sought after God.
When I picture the scene I can see myself in the wings, on the outside looking in. I am nervous, I am afraid, but I am drawn to this house of God, and so I watch and wait. Those inside seem to have it together, bringing riches rather than sacrifice, doing religion like a business. All I have is this humble offering in my hands, carried the long journey from my home, over rocky roads and mistake-laden miles.
Then I see Him. And right before my eyes I watch Him turn it on its side, all the pretension and injustice and darkness that kept me at bay. He sends out those who’ve come not for God but for gods.
And then? He looks me in the eye. Me. Lame, frightened, filthy from days of travel. He looks at me and sees me. He motions for me to come in and then He tells me I belong.
I had cried out “Hosanna! Save me!” not knowing what I was really asking. And He rode on through the streets and into the city, knowing exactly what was coming. He would soon die, but not before He cleansed His house of prayer and invited me in.
This is our Christ! “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (v. 42). He welcomes in the defenseless, becoming their defense. He brings the weak to Himself and makes them strong. He desires not the shiny sacrifices our pride wishes to bring, but only a heart that is stayed on Him. He saves us when we call out to Him.
Only He knows what our hearts truly need as we cry out, “Hosanna!” He knew it even then.