Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

20 March 2016

Palm Sunday C Sermon: Hosanna, Jesus!

Preached on John 12:12-19
Sunday of the Passion, Series C
20 March AD 2016

Title: Hosanna, Jesus! (MP3 Audio)

Palm Sunday Summary: The people of Jerusalem understood the word play as they called out to Jesus during His triumphal entry — yet they remained unaware of what they were asking for. Hosanna and Jesus stem from the same Hebrew word, meaning “to save.” They point to the same fact: The Word became flesh to save us from our sin. That’s why the angel told Joseph to name Mary’s Child “Jesus” (Matthew 1:21).

The crowd called upon the Savior to save them from Roman occupation, to restore the Davidic Kingdom in the Promised Land, and to restore Israel to its long-lost glory. What they got was a Savior who came to save them from satanic oppression, their own sinful natures, and God’s wrath.

Often, we are similarly unaware of our own full need for a Savior. Our cries of hosanna too often address the effects of being sinners living in a sinful world rather than the root cause of all our troubles. While we may not be looking for a new king to be crowned, we can certainly invent our own theologies of glory.

Yet even when we aren’t completely mindful of the extent of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, He remains mindful of us. The fulness of His victory is ours in Word and Sacrament, by the power of the Holy Spirit. He saves us in Baptism, in the Absolution, in His Supper. He saves us by bringing us into the community of the Church. He saves us by giving the angels charge over us. He saves us by holding fast to us, even though our grip on Him often fails.

Good Friday Text: The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.

The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.

So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” John 12:12-19 (Palm Sunday Processional Gospel)

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear MP3 of Hosanna, Jesus!.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 118:19-29 or 31:9-16; Deuteronomy 32:36-39; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 23:1-56 or Luke 22:1-23:56 or John 12:20-43

See Aardvark Alley for more on Palm Sunday.

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