I was studying the meaning of the word “hosanna” recently and was immediately struck by the reality that it could easily be a synonym for HOPE. Literally it means “save, I pray.”  It can also be translated by the word “help.”  We wait for the Lord to help us and to save us from a myriad of dangers in the world.  The word appears only once in the Old Testament, but its appearance makes a giant splash.  I promise that if you read the chapter in which it appears, you will get a good dose of HOPE tattooed on your heart.  Of course, you have to combine the reading (hearing) of God’s Word with faith.
I was so taken with this chapter that I re-arranged my day to include a few hours of reflecting on its meaning.  It’s a solid chapter and should be a favourite with every Christian because it is so closely linked to Jesus in the New Testament.  More about that in a moment.
But before I go there, let me just highlight a few of the other words or phrases that explode with HOPE in the chapter.  Here is a sample:

5      Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.

   The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

   The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

   It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

9      It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

13     I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.

17     I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.

18    The Lord has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death.
Now back to the connection with Jesus.  This chapter is one of the prophetic references that worshippers used on the day that Jesus marched triumphantly into Jerusalem declaring His Messianic right to assume the Throne of King David.  This is the chapter that refers to Jesus as the “stone that the builders rejected, that has become the chief cornerstone.”  The Psalmist declares that “this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes” and that “this is the day that the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  What day is it?  It’s the day that Jesus fully and finally asserted His right to reign and His power to save “all who come to Him by faith.
What a great worship gathering it turned out to be. The people sang “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.  Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest.”  (Mark 11)  The exuberant congregation joined in with words from Psalm 118 and Zechariah 9 being fulfilled before their very eyes.
Jesus has arrived to save His people, but not from Roman oppression, as they assumed.  He came to “seek and to save” lost humanity by offering Himself as the ultimate sacrifice that would atone for the sins of the world.  The human race was buried in the grave of their own spiritual death but He came to give hope by offering eternal life to all who “call on the name of the Lord.”  The Lord Jesus Christ is our hope. (See 1 Timothy 1:1)  
Stay strong in this hope church family.  God willing, I look forward to studying Mark 11:1-11 with you this coming Sunday morning.  You might want to read Psalm 118, Zechariah 9, along with Mark 11 in preparation.  See you either in person or online.


Pastor Deric


The BEST TEACHERS are the ones who know how to use a good question to help others see what they need to learn.  A good question can teach more than a thousand lessons.  As a matter of fact, the Bible has many such evocative questions.  I’ve experienced moments of immense clarity in my faith journey by responding thoughtfully to Bible questions.  Here are a few such questions lifted right out of the Bible.
  • Adam, where are you? (God)
  • Is anything too hard for me? (God)
  • How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? (David)
  • Do you want to get well? (Jesus)
  • Why have you forsaken me? (Jesus)
  • What would you have me do, Lord? (Paul)
One of the famous stories of the miracle working ministry of Jesus appears in Mark Chapter 10.  On His way to Jerusalem, where He would suffer and die, the Bible records numerous significant events, one of which is the healing of the blind beggar named Bartimaeus.  Mark records that when he heard that Jesus was passing by “he cried out” saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  In referring to Jesus as the “Son of David” Bartimaeus was in effect calling on King Jesus.  The King was passing his way, and he was not going to sit idly by doing nothing.  He did the one thing that he could do, “he cried out.”  That’s the solution to our greatest problems.  Call out to God, that is, PRAY from your heart.  In desperation, call out to the one who alone can make the difference in your life.
Mark tells us that the crowd around Bartimaeus rebuked him and demanded him to be silent.  But Bartimaeus “cried out all the more.”  I love it!! Bartimaeus refused to back down or shut up.  He was not going to allow the crowd to block him from the one person he needed to give him his miracle.  How do you respond when the cold and dispassionate crowd stares at you for enthusiastically seeking Jesus?  Are you willing to be the one voice crying out in the wilderness? 
The rest of the story is epic too.  Jesus stops and calls Bartimaeus simply asking him, “what do you want me to do for you?”  Without missing a beat, Bartimaeus answers, “let me recover my sight.”  So, Jesus gave Bartimaeus his sight telling him, “your faith has made you well.”  The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. (James 5:15).”  Jesus cares about the immediate and debilitating need in your life.  Nothing is trivial to Him.  But neither is He locked into our temporary suffering.  He sees much more of the spiritual need in your life. Be careful not to disconnect your life in the flesh with your life in the Spirit.  Jesus doesn’t.
I love the way that story concludes, “and immediately he recovered his sight and followed Him on the way.”   That’s the point of the whole story.  The recovery of sight is meant to give us the ability to follow Jesus “on the way.”  The opening of our blinded eyes is so that we can follow Jesus as the light of the world. 
Please don’t leave this page without answering Jesus’ question, “what do you want me to do for you?”  It might just be that He is passing by waiting for you to ask Him.  He’s able to do it! 
Shalom church family,
Pastor Deric