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.
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)
6 The Lord is for me; I will not fear;
What can man do to me?
7 The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man.
9 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.