Thursday, March 22, 2018

What HELL is God saving you from?

On Palm Sunday we read about Jesus' festive procession into Jerusalem where people shout, "Hosanna! ... Hosanna in the highest Heaven." Each time we give thanks over the table we say similar words, "Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest." 

I confess as someone who presides often over the table... when I say these words... I don't really know what I am saying other than... it is apart of our ritual to prepare to receive communion. I wonder if you have you felt that way? 

The word Hosanna means to save and deliver. We are all quite familiar with this word "save" or "saved." The word "saved" to most Christians means that God saves us from our sin and gives us eternal life so that we don't go to hell. 

Yet is that why these people were shouting "Hosanna"? So that they wouldn't go to hell?

Prior to Jesus entrance into Jerusalem, there was a blind man named Bartimaeus begging for someone to "save" him. He wasn't trying to secure his ticket to heaven instead he wanted someone to save him from the hell of being blind. 

Jesus said to him, "your faith has saved you." The word "saved" didn't just mean that Bartimaeus eschatological salvation was secure... Jesus saved him from the hell of being blind. His deliverance wasn't later... it was now. 

So the people that were shouting Hosanna weren't shouting for deliverance tomorrow... they were shouting for deliverance today. If we could only muster up the heart of these people today! Long for God to deliver us from whatever hell is consuming our lives now and hope for God to...

Deliver us from the hell of addiction...
Deliver us from the hell of hating our enemies...
Deliver us from the hell of greed...
Deliver us from the hell of unforgiveness... 
Deliver us from the hell of being a victim... 
Deliver us from the hell of worry and anxiety...
Deliver us from the hell of racism and prejudice...

Hosanna! Hosanna! Lord, save us! Heal us! from the hell that is now... so that we might be free to live in love and peace!