Today’s Reading: John 12:12-19
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” – John 12:13b
You don’t make the words of worship up. The Liturgy of the Church today, like the prayer of the people who greeted Jesus on Palm Sunday, comes from the Scriptures. In this case from the Psalms.
They knew them by heart because the Psalms were prayed in the Synagogue and in their homes. The Psalms were prayed in the Temple and prayed as they travelled “up” to Jerusalem to keep the feasts of Passover, Weeks, and Booths.
It is the time of the Passover. Jesus has recently raised Lazarus from the dead and the word of this miracle has spread. Jesus, the one who heals the sick, gives sight to the blind, drives out demons, and even raises the dead is coming to Jerusalem to keep the Feast. Filled with hope, the people join together in prayer with words taken straight from Psalm 118.
They may not have fully understood the words or even what they were asking. But the words were true and the words were faithful. “Hosanna!” – Lord save us. “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
The King of Israel is blessed for He comes to save, humble and lowly, by His suffering and death. That same King still comes to save but now He comes humbly and lowly “in, with, and under” bread and wine to give Himself in His body and blood for the forgiveness of your sins. So the Church still sings, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Prayer: A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth, the guilt of sinners bearing. And, laden with the sins of earth, none else the burden sharing; Goes patient on, grows weak and faint, to slaughter led without complaint, that spotless life to offer, He bears the stripes, the wounds, the lies, the mockery, and yet replies, “All this I gladly suffer.” (From “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” LSB 438:1)
This devotion was written by Rev. Michael Knox, pastor of Our Redeemer in Cedar Falls, IA, Christ Lutheran in Waterloo Iowa, and Peace Lutheran in Shell Rock, IA.