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March 24 | Mark 11:1-11


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Hosanna!!

by Elaine Pierce


"He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering."

(Isaiah 53:1)



Jesus is always portrayed as a handsome man, isn't he? He has long, wavy hair, and the artists depict him as compassionate, strong and "holy" looking. Take another look at the verse above from Isaiah. He tells us that the Savior has "no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." That certainly isn't the Sunday School version of Jesus I grew up with. Even on more contemporary shows, like The Chosen, the actor who plays Jesus is a strong, handsome man.


In today's passage, we read the familiar words that we repeat on Palm Sunday: "Hosanna!" Crowds line the road to Jerusalem, and Jesus is greeted as if he is a conquering hero. He might not have been physically attractive, but he had a presence that drew people to him. He drew large crowds as he preached, healed and taught. People were excited to see him come to Jerusalem, where many, including his disciples, thought he would usher in a new kingdom. Finally, they would be rid of the hated Romans, and they would have peace and freedom.


We all know that Jesus had a different plan, and he was obedient to his Father. He knew that the crowds who were cheering him and spreading palm branches at his feet would soon be screaming "Crucify him! Crucify him!" He knew that his disciples would desert him, and that they would be confused, lonely and afraid.


Jesus didn't deserve the cross. We did. But because he paid the price, we have life today, life tomorrow, and life for all eternity. Our Savior is certainly not conventional, is he? He bids us to come and follow him. He doesn't promise fame and fortune or ease and comfort. He asks us to trust him, and to take up our cross, and follow him.


Shout Hosanna today, and thank God for this incredible gift.


PRAYER

What a gift! What a Savior! Lord, we shout Hosanna, and we worship you. Forgive us when we forget your goodness, when we go our own way. Help us this Palm Sunday and every day to love you, to follow you, to serve you. We pray in your strong name, Amen.







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