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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Thirty-Three)

Day Thirty-Three

Scripture: Mark 11:1-11

1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.”’ 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ 11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.


I wonder what kind of thoughts and feelings occupied his heart while he was riding the colt to enter Jerusalem. Was he happy to see the welcoming crowd? Or was he sad, thinking of his imminent crucifixion? Did he glimpse hope in the eyes of those who enthusiastically welcomed him? Or did that scene sadden him even more deeply, knowing the crowd would turn against him in a few days?

In Hebrew, ‘hosanna’ actually means “save us, we pray.” It was not a grateful praise but a desperate plea from the oppressed people. When they shouted “blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David,” they must have expected Jesus to be their political leader, to deliver them from the misery of Roman colonialism and restore the ancient glory of the kingdom of David.

Jesus was going to disappoint all of them. Instead of punishing the Gentile rulers and having the revenge of the people of Israel, he was going to be captured, tortured, and killed by Pontius Pilate. Instead of restoring the glory of the ancient kingdom, he was about to face the most shameful death on the cross.

His response to “Hosanna, save us!” was going to be done in a very different way from what they expected. He was going to save all of us not by commanding but by loving. He had been teaching that from the beginning. Still, the people made their own expectations from their own desires and demanded him to meet their expectations.

May our hearts understand the heart of Jesus today. May our welcoming of Jesus to our heart not be guided by our selfish desires but be done by laying down our cloaks and branches. “Hosanna”, save us from our pride, Lord.


  1. What do you want to be “saved” from today?

  2. How can we welcome Jesus into our hearts today?

Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: I Love You, Lord

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