Encouragement From The Word

Ride on!

Hosanna.  “Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118.26a, NLT).

This weekend, Christians throughout western society will celebrate Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode a donkey from the Mount of Olives into the temple in Jerusalem.  As he did, people shouted, “Hosanna!”, which means, “Save us now!”

Little did they know what they were asking.  It would signal the beginning of the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry before he went to the cross.  Those who shouted as Jesus sauntered by on that donkey had no idea.

I am reminded of the words penned by Henry Hart Milman in 1827, printed in hundreds of hymn books since then.  His poem tells the real story of Palm Sunday so well, it deserves to be quoted in full:

Ride on, ride on in majesty!  Hark!  All the tribes hosanna cry.

O Saviour meek, pursue Thy road, with palms and scattered garments strewed.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!  In lowly pomp ride on to die.

O Christ, Thy triumphs now begin o’er captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!  The angel armies of the sky

look down with sad and wond’ring eyes to see th’approaching sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!  Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh.

The Father on his sapphire throne awaits his own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!  In lowly pomp ride on to die.

Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain, then take, O God, Thy pow’r and reign.

“In lowly pomp ride on to die.” At that point, only Jesus knew what the week would bring.  But, thanks to God’s Word, we also know.  So we can shout with the onlookers, who themselves echoed the Psalmist, “Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118.26a, NLT).

Mark this Holy Week appropriately, knowing he rode on to die.