EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) – Do you remember when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem before His arrest and ultimate crucifixion? As He rode the borrowed colt through the Golden Gate of Jerusalem, a spontaneous parade developed. Historians tell us that since this was the Passover season, there were probably 2 million people in and around Jerusalem. Ecstatic crowds cheered Him that day like a conquering hero, shouting “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9)
Jesus didn’t share their exuberance for He knew He was only days from the Cross, but He was very aware of the crowds. His ears heard every cry, His eyes saw every face, His heart knew every need. And He knew that the size of the crowds reflected the hunger of the human soul. Steeped in religious tradition and law, these people were looking for a Savior.
People are still searching for a savior – someone or something to fill the void in their lives. Some search through pseudo-religions, traditions and personal pursuits to find meaning in life but remain hopeless until they find redemption through Christ. They cry out for answers even as they look in the wrong places for the solution to their emptiness. The reality is that we are made for God as fish are made for the sea, birds for the air, stars for the sky. The philosopher Blaise Pascal spoke of a God-shaped vacuum within us that can never be satisfied by any created thing, but by God alone through Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah warned that many people try to quench their cravings for salvation and significance in the wrong places. “My people have committed two evils,” the Lord warned in Jeremiah 2:13. “They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Trying to satisfy heart-thirst with fame, money, success and pleasure is like trying to quench one’s thirst with salt water. In the end, it only makes things worse. Jesus knew, as He steered His colt through the multitudes, that He alone could quench the thirst of the human soul. The crowds were cheering Him, but for many of them, it was only a superficial, momentary exuberance. It was emotion without commitment. Within a week, the same crowds would be demanding His death.
Only a commitment to Jesus Christ can satisfy the cravings of the heart. He said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). Frances Schaeffer explained: “There is no other sufficient philosophical answer. You can search through university philosophy, underground philosophy, filling station philosophy – it does not matter which – there is no other sufficient philosophical answer to existence. … It is not that this is the best answer to existence; it is the only answer.”
Jesus is the meeting place of eternity and time, the blending of deity and humanity, the junction of heaven and earth. He is the Savior who loved us enough to suffer and die for our salvation. As S. D. Gordon said, He is “God spelling Himself out in language that man can understand.”
Do we need forgiveness? His blood provides it. Do we need solid, eternal hope? Visit His empty tomb. Do we need an abiding purpose? He wants us to change the world. Do we need strength for life’s adversities? He gives strength to the weary. Do we have the assurance of our salvation? We do! “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). We have a Savior!
Because the tomb of Christ is empty, our hearts can be full. Because our Lord descended into the darkness of death, our lives can be bright. Because He lives, we live also. That’s why the cry of the fickle crowd on Palm Sunday can become the shout of the faithful hearts of His followers today: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!