As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of His disciples, and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ you say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.”

They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”

They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission.

They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;
Hosanna in the highest!”

Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late. (Mark 11:1-11)

The crowd went wild! They knew their world was about to change—they just didn’t know how much. The prophet Zechariah had prophesied that Israel’s king would arrive on a donkey’s colt. The word “hosanna” is a Hebrew phrase that means “Save, now” or “Save, I pray.” It came from Psalm 118, which was a Psalm of triumph and praise to God. The Hebrew word for “save” is related to the name Jesus, who received his name specifically because he would save his people. When he rode into Jerusalem, the shouting crowd supposed he was their political savior. They expected him to save them from the Romans by raising an army and fighting against them. But Jesus was coming to save them from something far more serious: their sins. To do that, he would surrender to the Romans and die at their hands. Then rise to life and return to his Father.

What does this mean to us today? True salvation does not come from overthrowing a government. It comes by surrendering. It comes from the one who saved us from our sins. If we want change, then we need to change things the way Jesus changed things: one heart at a time.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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