Matthew 9:35-36, Mark 11:
Matthew 9 is a great display of the heart of Jesus. In the middle of His ministry, He looks out at the crowd and has compassion. He sees the crowds that are coming to Him in their true state. They are helpless and harassed. The people are plagued by illness, distressed by poverty, overwhelmed by anxiety and depression, and burdened by oppression. Worse, they are unable to improve their situation. They have no answers. Like sheep without a shepherd, they are helpless against predators and the natural hazards of this world. Since the fall of man in the garden, this has become the natural state of humanity. They are beset by worries and cares, and trapped in the snares of the enemy.
Jesus stood in stark contrast. He came to destroy all the works of the devil. He came healing the sick, raising the dead, opening blind eyes, and declaring the way of the Lord. He was immediately recognized by the hurting masses. His fame spread far and wide. People would travel long distances to see Jesus. They knew they needed something or someone. He was and is the answer. As Jesus travels back to Jerusalem before His crucifixion and death, the people worship Him and cry ‘Hosanna’. Hosanna is a cry that means ‘Lord, Save Us!’
Although the world is often deluded and deceived, it is still crying out for a savior. The heart of all of humanity is longing for communion with God, for relief from torment, and for a peace that only God can bring. The answer is Jesus. He is called ‘Emmanuel’ – God with us. No longer alone and afraid, forced to brave the dangers of the world without guidance, Jesus has come to save us from sin, cleanse us from unrighteousness and to be a true shepherd. It is through Jesus that we are free from the harassment of the devil, secure in the arms of our savior. It is this freedom and security that we have to offer others. The same Jesus that rescued us is available to all those around us. To those who are caught in sin, bound by mental illness, harassed and helpless, crying out ‘Hosanna’ – Lord save me!, we must be a light on a hill, pointing the way to their help and salvation. Today may you receive the comfort of the savior in every situation, and spread this comfort and saving grace to all those around you!