An old man languishes in a cold damp prison cell. His family has long since disowned him. He used to be an influential man from an influential family. Now human excrement falls on him from the grates in the cells above him. His body is scarred and his muscles are cramping from the shackles that hold him fast. He knows that soon he will be beheaded.
With the little energy he has left, he writes to his young protege and makes this incredible statement:
" I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
The Apostle Paul was claiming that he was victorious. All around the world today, Christians of every stripe will be celebrating Palm Sunday. As Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, He alone knew what was going to happen next. He, too, would be beaten, spat upon and ultimately executed. And still they exclaimed, "Hosanna!"
I remember when Operation Desert Storm commenced. Some of the members of the press asked, "What does victory look like, and when will we say that we have achieved it?" I think a similar question can be asked of us today. What does victory look like, and when can we as disciples claim that we have achieved it?
Whatever else it means, the Bible clearly states that we are to be overcomers. That tells me that there are going to be obstacles in our way, and challenges to face, and enemies that will oppose us. As we get into The Word today, let's start by saying that Hosanna can mean everything from "Hooray for King, Jesus," to "Hey, Jesus...here I am. Save me too!"
I favor the second interpetation. I need for Jesus to help me to overcome. In fact the Bible says He already has; "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb...." I want, at the end of my life, to be able to say with Paul, that I have fought the good fight, finished my race, and kept the faith.
Anybody want to join me in shouting "Hosanna?"
Copyright 2007 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.