Hosanna in the Highest

Through Christ’s sacrifice and suffering, we are awed by the abundant gifts the Father grants us through Jesus’ physical resurrection—a lavish, abundant, beyond-all-expectations life that never ends. That’s the life-giving, hopeful, joy-bringing message of the Gospel.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ( Romans 8:32)

This above passage cuts right to the heart of the New Testament. It puts us in the middle of the greatest mystery of the Gospel: How does the cruel death of Jesus on the cross result in extravagant earthly and eternal benefits to the believer?

Everything about this doctrine goes against our sense of justice. God gave Jesus up for us. And Jesus willingly took upon himself his cross. God the Father deliberately allowed his beloved Son to be tortured and brutally murdered so that we get off scot-free. Jesus—himself sinless and without fault—absorbed all the consequences of our sin and folly into himself. He took upon himself all the punishment due us for our rebellion, selfishness, foolishness, greed, lust, dishonesty, envy, mistreatment of others, indifference to suffering, and all the rest.

God decreed that the injustice aimed at Jesus would become the flashpoint of our salvation and the doorway into his eternal kingdom. God knew that we couldn’t ever become good enough to qualify for eternal life in his presence, so he chose this way.

God exploited the lowest point we could sink—the murder of his Son—to save us from eternal death, so we are not saved by our “good works” but by his grace, love, and kindness. It implies that “amazing grace” is amazing, and it is grace.

This salvation story cuts crosswise into the heart by saying in no uncertain terms, “Your best, most sincere religious efforts to qualify yourself for eternal life in my kingdom is nothing but ‘filthy rags’ in my sight” (Isaiah 64:6). We can’t congratulate ourselves on working for our salvation. Only through Jesus Christ has our price been paid—a price we could never have paid even no matter how hard we try to be “righteous.”

Through Christ’s sacrifice and suffering, we are awed by the abundant gifts the Father grants us through Jesus’ physical resurrection—a lavish, abundant, beyond-all-expectations life that never ends. That’s the life-giving, hopeful, joy-bringing message of the Gospel.

So this Palm Sunday, when we’re distracted by the injustices and evil in the world and praying about things that disturb us and seem too big to overcome, we keep our eyes on Jesus and join the praise, saying, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Let us keep in the front of our minds the inexplicable mercy of God and what the end goal looks like, and the cross of Christ that made it all possible.

To God be the glory!

-Photo by eberhard ? grossgasteiger on Unsplash

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