He was called “one of the bravest persons alive,” but he wasn’t what others expected. Desmond was a soldier who declined to carry a gun. As a medic, he single-handedly rescued seventy-five injured soldiers in one battle, including some who once called him a coward and ridiculed him for his faith. Running into heavy gunfire, Desmond prayed continually, “Lord, please help me get one more.” He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.
Scripture tells us that Jesus was greatly misunderstood. On a day foretold by the prophet Zechariah (9:9), Jesus entered Jerusalem and the crowd waved branches, shouting, “Hosanna!” (John 12:13). Quoting Psalm 118:26, they cried: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13). But the very next verse in that psalm refers to bringing a sacrifice “with boughs in hand” (Psalm 118:27). While the crowd in John 12 anticipated an earthly king to save them from Rome, Jesus was much more. He was King of Kings and our sacrifice—God in the flesh, willingly embracing the cross to save us from our sins—a purpose prophesied centuries earlier.
“At first his disciples did not understand all this,” John writes. Only later “did they realize that these things had been written about him” (John 12:16). Illumined by His Word, God’s eternal purposes became clear. See the link below to view Grant Stevenson’s “In Pursuit of Jesus” video to learn more about the One who saves.
The word hosanna (John 12:13) appears in the New Testament only in relation to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem during the Passover festival. According to the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, “This term was originally a Hebrew invocation addressed to God [meaning ‘Save now’]. Later it apparently came to be used as a joyous acclamation, an ascription of praise to God.” It could also mean a shout of welcome, which seems to be how it’s used by the crowds welcoming Jesus. But it isn’t out of the question that all three meanings are found in this passage. John mentions that those who saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead were present at His triumphal entry and were spreading the word about Him. Those who came to see the One who could rescue from death may have been pleading for their own rescue from Rome. Others may have been simply shouting Hosanna! as a praise for the things Jesus had done.