Holy Week – Day 1: Palm Sunday – What’s the Buzz?

An Introduction

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
–John 11:25–26

Most of us are familiar with the verses above, but think about the last part of the Scripture—do you believe this? This is the heart of our discussions about our faith, and something we should continue to ask ourselves daily. Do we really believe this? Because if we do, it should affect every single part of our lives.

What happened on Easter morning is the center of the Christian faith; without it we have nothing to tell others about or personally hope for. The resurrection and what it implies for us and also for the whole creation transforms all of life’s struggles, sorrows, and joys.

Join many across the world in prayer during this great week of celebration, and then allow yourself to be renewed as the meaning of God’s visitation penetrates everything we do in this life.

May the power of the resurrection become a reality to you as you fill your mind with Jesus’ incomparable sacrifice and his gift of joy-filled, eternal life.

Day 1

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

–Matthew 21:9–10

As we begin the first day of our Holy Week prayer journey, we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, joining his people with shouts of “Hosanna!”

We’re all familiar with this unusual word “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday, with the songs of celebration as children walk down the aisles of the church waving palm branches. It’s a joyful word! But strangely, the “Hosanna” we now know, used in this passage of Matthew, was originally a plea for help turned into an expression of praise.

How did it take on this meaning?

The simplest explanation is that in the history of Israel, whenever God’s people cried out for deliverance and salvation, he was faithful in coming to rescue them. It was because of this connection that “Hosanna” naturally developed into thanksgiving and praise for all God had done.

So why would this word be connected to Jesus himself? That question is answered by Jesus’ unique identity.

Jesus Christ is the incomparable Son of God who came into the world to reveal both who God is and what, by God’s grace, a human being should be and one day will be. He calls people everywhere to be his disciples and follow him into the eternal kingdom of his Father.

He paid the penalty for all our sins by his death on the cross and offers the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life to those who come to him in simple humility and repentance. His identity, authority, and ministry were validated and vindicated by his physical resurrection from the dead.

The clear meaning of the Gospel is that God offers to us the most extravagant grace and mercy the world has ever known. Let us enter this Holy Week confidently trusting in his boundless mercy, love, and grace that are the same today as they have been for thousands of years.

Today’s Prayer

Hosanna Lord God! We praise you for your rescuing and delivering power. We thank you for sending your Son to give his life for us and to do everything necessary to save us. Amen.

Today’s Commitment

Today I’ll lift up my hands to receive all the love God has offered to me and…

John I. Snyder
Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness

An Introduction Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life

Holy Week – Day 2: The Doorway Into Life

Holy Week – Day 2: The Doorway Into Life

An Introduction Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life