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Save Us From Ourselves

As a child, going out to dinner was a luxury, something saved for special celebrations.  When this did occur, there was always at least one table with out of control children.  In the heat of the moment, one of the parents blurted out, “I can’t take you anywhere, can I?”  This experience serves as a subtle reminder that human beings need to be saved from themselves.

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” – Matthew 21:9

The word Hosanna is introduced in the Old Testament.  However, its most famous reference occurs on Palm Sunday quoted in the verse above.  The actual definition of Hosanna is Lord save us.  However, over time the true meaning was altered to include blessed are those for Jesus has come.  However, this doesn’t save individuals from the fact that mankind are fallen creatures in desperate need of a Savior.

LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success! – Psalm 118:25

Over 2,000 years later, this fact is the reason why people celebrate every Easter Sunday.  The resurrection of Jesus is a fulfillment of the Psalmist’s words.  What Adam ruined, Christ returned to restore that which was lost.  Therefore, as you wake up to attend a sunrise service or plan on attending a regular church service, may you find hope and peace in the promise of Hosanna.

by Jay Mankus


Last Rites

No one except God knows what will be your last day, meal or words.  In the case of Jesus, I guess you can say He was born to die, causing a wide range of emotions.  As the Passion Week approached, interactions with family, friends and disciples would be his last, causing the praises of Hosanna on Palm Sunday to be replaced with “Crucify Him.”

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. – Luke 19:10

Today, when doctor’s sense the end is near, Catholics call a priest to perform last rites.  Otherwise known as the sacraments of anointing the sick, if death is expected, Penance and Communion is also offered to prepare one’s soul for the afterlife.  Once complete, family members gather around to savor the remaining moments of life together.  The closest thing that I’ve ever experienced was the day my grandfather died, holding his hand one last time before his last breath.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” John 11:25.

While hanging from a cross on Good Friday, there were only two more things left on God’s agenda.  First, Jesus gave hope to one of two criminals hanging from an adjacent cross, offering Him the promise of paradise for his repentant words.  Second, as the oldest son, Jesus wanted to make sure Mary was in good hands, commanding John of Zebedee to watch after his mother.  Though no last rites where necessary for Jesus, a perfect man, Hebrews 4:14-16, Jesus gave up His spirit with one final comment, “it is finished!”

by Jay Mankus

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