Palm Sunday, “Hosanna!”, and application to the current political drama

Be sure to keep reading to the next post about the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and the Angels at the Tomb of Jesus, and I encourage you to listen to R.C. Sproul’s three messages, as we celebrate Good Friday and the Resurrection of Christ.

This week, beginning on March 20, I was struck at the irony and significance of the Scriptures on Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt of a donkey, showing His humility, gentleness, and salvation (Zechariah 9:9; see the quotes in Matthew 21, and John 12); that He was NOT a military Messiah, yet the people were shouting “Hosanna!” (O Lord, save us!” and “give success/prosperity/victory” – Psalm 118:25-26)

Thinking and meditating on the significance of Palm Sunday, I was struck afresh about how the crowds were praising Jesus as the Messiah, and quoting Psalm 118.

Matthew 21:1-17

Mark 11:1-11

Luke 19:29-44

John 12:12-19

Luke 19:38 – “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Matthew 21 and Mark 11 and Luke 19 quote from Psalm 118 and show how they crowds believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, and they thought He was going to save them from Rome – be a political and military Messiah.

“The people wanted salvation and success, remember.  Which means, they wanted the Messiah to march into the city and do hard business with Rome.”  Jonathan Parnell, Your Sorrow will Turn to Joy, page 15.

Psalm 118:25 – “Save us we pray, O Lord, O Lord, give us success/prosperity!”

“Hosanna!” comes from Psalm 118:25 – “O Lord, save us!” – in other words, they were looking at Jesus as a political and military savior who would do business with the problems of this world.

As I right this, right now, in this crazy political season (June of 2015 to March of 2016), it seems like many of the crowds, masses, are calling out for the same kind of thing, in wanting someone strong who will “win again” and “make America great again”, etc.   (the weird phenomenon of people wanting a con artist and seemingly “strong man” like businessman Donald Trump.)  I have read several articles comparing him to how Mussolini and Hitler rose in their countries in the 1930s in Europe.  It is shameful that so many Evangelicals are going for this man of unpredictable character and immorality, arrogance, bravado, in your face insults, bombast, and past history of not being conservative at all in principles.  Who knows what he will do if he wins the Presidency?  He is so volatile, vengeful, childish and a spoiled brat.

We will see what happens; O Lord, help us to trust in Your sovereignty!

It reminds us of the Israelites calling for a strong king who was tall and handsome “to fight for us, like the nations” – 1 Samuel chapter 8.

It is amazing that people don’t read Psalm 118 and it’s real significance:

Read the entire Psalm, but note especially verses 6-10 and verses 22-26

True Prosperity and Success is trusting in God’s Sovereignty and Plan for the Messiah to be the one who would be humble and weak and give His life a sacrifice for sins, thus causing Israel and people who try to figure it out on their own logic “to stumble”.  Over 2000 years later, Jews and Muslims and atheists and skeptics are still stumbling over the weakness and power of the cross today. (see 1 Corinthians chapters 1-2)

Psalm 118:6-10

6 The Lord is for me; I will not fear;
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me;
In the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off.

[Are Evangelicals putting security and military might first, or trust in the Lord?]

. . .

22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O Lord, do save, we beseech You;
O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.

It is striking that the crowds were manipulated and turned against Jesus at His trial later, by the Jewish leadership calling for Jesus’ crucifixion.

“But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.”  Matthew 27:20

We don’t learn; history keeps repeating itself.  We must pray, trust God, vote for the better candidate who would be closer to Biblical principles, and keep trusting God, even when the world is falling apart with economic problems, liberal leaders, and radical Islamic terrorism.


About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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11 Responses to Palm Sunday, “Hosanna!”, and application to the current political drama

  1. θ says:

    Jesus flees just like a hireling he condemned after his resurrection, by abandoning his strayed sheep to Peter. To criticise the others is easy, to be consistent is difficult.

    • Ken Temple says:

      No; Jesus did not abandon His sheep. “I am with you, until the end of the age” – Matthew 28:20

      He gives us the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. (John 7:37-39; Acts 1:8; Acts chapter 2; especially 2:33-36; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14. He is here right now with me as I type this.

  2. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: .He is here right now with me as I type this.”

    If Jesus were with you now, hence:
    (i) Are you Ken a Gnostic, who believe that Jesus is coming again to you not in the flesh?
    (ii) If he were with you now, have you Ken ever touched or checked the scars on his side and hands?
    (iii) Why don’t you, Ken, tell him to go out of your house, to appear and announce his coming publicly?
    (iv) Have you Ken ever asked him, why he doesn’t yet wage the apocalyptic war to defend the life of Christians world-widely?
    (v) Does he need more time to enjoy the sufferings of Christians?

  3. Ken Temple says:

    Obviously, it is you who don’t understand the difference between physical presence and spiritual presence. (or you are just playing games with the issue; you don’t seem serious on this issue.)

  4. θ says:

    No, if the thing is about spiritual presence as you say, actually Elijah (also Moses as addition after Transfiguration) stands in similar spiritual sense to intermediate Jews.
    So, again, since Jesus criticised other Prophets before him – including Elijah and Moses – for having fled like a “coward hireling” away from their sheep, Jesus turns out to be a same coward hireling, as he is not different than Prophets whom he criticised: he just left the sheep to Peter.

  5. Ken Temple says:

    Jesus did not criticize Elijah and Moses. Moses and Elijah encouraged the Son of God in His mission. Matthew 17

    Christ sent the Holy Spirit to give all His disciples power to witness and live holy lives. John 7:37-39
    John chapters 14, 15, 16
    Acts chapter 2, especially verses 33-36.

  6. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: Christ sent the Holy Spirit to give all His disciples power to witness and live holy lives.”

    A real shepherd stays among his sheep on the field to guard them from the wolves. The hungry wolves are hunting the sheep on the earth, not in heaven, hence why would a hireling feel the need to return to his own house when the sheep truly need him most?

    Holy Spirit has been with the believers since the beginning. Please define what “holy life” is according to the Spirit?
    Since 613 Moses Laws were annulled by the Spirit, is homosexual conduct still considered a sin for Christians? Is Sabbath still sacred for Christians (but it is not priesthood thing)? Is eating the pork still a sin for Christians (but it is not priesthood thing either)?

  7. Ken Temple says:

    homosexual conduct is still a sin for all and everybody. It is wrong period. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:21-28

    But because of the resurrection of Christ, the Sabbath day was changed to Sunday. (I Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10)
    Eating pork is not a sin anymore. Mark 7:19; Acts chapters 10-11

  8. Ken Temple says:

    Holy lives :
    I Thessalonians 4:1-8
    Matthew chapters 5, 6, 7
    Colossians chapter 3
    Ephesians chapters 4, 5, 6
    Romans chapters 6, 7, and 8
    I Peter chapters 1-5
    book of 1 John
    I Corinthians chapters 6-7
    John chapter 15

  9. θ says:

    Is that what Christians called a Holy life?
    Jas 4:17
    Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    From where do you know what the holy life or goodness is? Nobody knows what is good for man in this vain life, except God.
    Rom 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
    1Tim 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

    Even the evil world has its silly standard of a good life:
    Lk 6
    33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
    Jn 16
    2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

    Prov 4:2 For I give you good doctrine: forsake ye not my law.
    Mt 19
    16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.
    Even Jesus can’t be an example of a least goodness:
    (i) he argued so poorly by using insult and defamation,
    (ii) insulted Prophet as hireling,
    (iii) abandoned Lazarus to die by choosing to stay somewhere,
    (iv) used a confusing parable on purpose to not convert Jews,
    (v) commanded people to hate everyone,
    (vi) approved slavery, even child slavery a way to pay debt.
    (vii) approved torture,
    (viii) approved collective punishment,
    (ix) taught the cowardice of fleeing from city to city.
    (x) approved bribery to enrich the cruel rulers, et cetera.

    Nobody knows what is good for man in this vain life, except God.
    Eccl 6
    12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life? all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

  10. Jon says:

    Amen. We care more about this world than the world to come. If Jesus cannot overthrow our Roman overlords, then we’d rather accept a murderer and crucify an innocent man for the safety of our nation. “It is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” We forget His words: “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” We love this world so much that we are willing to murder the Son of God. We can relate to this not only when we sin individually, but when we sin as a nation by accepting such wicked leaders. Strong men exploit this fear of losing what we value so much that we put our faith in their lies. In them, when we are weak, we truly are weak. They keep us “safe” at great cost, bringing us not true peace. Instead, we should put our faith in the one who’s kingdom is not of this world, the prince of peace, the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, giving us eternal life and keeping His promises. In Him, when we are weak, we are strong. We are willing to suffer death as He did, for the sake of our Beloved. Our safety, the goods of this world are no longer a priority so much as worshiping Him in spirit and truth. There is a Chesterton quote that I think of often when thinking of Trump: “[T]he hero thinks of himself as great, but not as superior. This has been hidden from us of late by a foolish worship of sinister and exceptional men, men without comrade-ship, or any infectious virtue. This type of Caesar does exist. There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.”

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