Hear the word “Hosanna” and most of us will go immediately to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Cloaks spread on the road . . . branches cut from trees and laid before this One coming to them humbly, mounted on a donkey — the coming king foretold by Zechariah (9:9) and the other prophets. The crowds surrounding Him . . . shouting at the top of their lungs, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:9). But as I was reading in Matthew this morning, I was surprised at a second mention of those crying “Hosanna.” The din of the crowds having died off, there was still a small group who continued the “Hosanna” rhythm after He entered the temple area. A small group as in a short group. The kids continued to cry out . . .
And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise’?” (Matthew 21:14-16 ESV)
You can imagine that those who had been singing the song outside the temple were losing the tune when they started seeing Jesus turn the place upside down . . . literally. He’s overturning tables and flipping over chairs. Change is bouncing off the pavement . . . animals are bleating in excitement . . . pigeons are in a flap. You imagine a bit of chaos in this place of unholy commerce. And then there’s the disapproving presence of the priests and scribes . . . casting a steely glance at this Jesus of Nazareth . . . already determined to find a way to put him to death, you can just see in their hardened faces that they are done with Him. So, I’m guessing the crowd has stopped singing . . . that they’ve stopped proclaiming, “Hosanna.” But not the kids.
The children, having seen His display of authority . . . the young ‘uns, having taken note of His healing of the blind and lame . . . take up the song the adults have determined is no longer politically correct. Amidst the chaos of the cleansing of the temple . . . despite the coldness of the condemning eyes of the religious leaders . . . even though the crowd has gone silent . . . the kids keep singing, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” There is this undertone of praise . . . ordained of God . . . prepared for the kids.
I imagine they cried out with joy and excitement. The same way you hear a kid crying out, “Again!” as you push them on a swing or give them some other ride . . . “Again!” In this case though, the children are not asking to receive something more . . . but instead delight in giving adoration to the One who is worthy of all adoration. They desire to declare the Name of Him whose name is Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace. Their joy is in offering the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of their lips . . . a sweet smelling aroma offered to heaven’s portal. All out of the mouths of babes.
Undistracted by the activity . . . undaunted by the animosity . . . though the crowds have gone quite . . . the song is continued by the kids.
O’ that I might be such a kid. The song fresh despite the circumstance. The voice determined regardless of disapproval. The praise prepared for me to deliver, offered wholeheartedly.
By His grace . . . for His glory . . .