Coffee Break: Hosanna

Oasis ChurchCoffee Break

Pete Bardwell holding a coffee mug

“Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause”

Do you ever have lyrics from worship songs playing in your mind… admittedly for me they aren’t always worship songs or even Christian songs, but when they are I tend to proactively move them out of my dreamy subconscious into my conscious imagination and ask the Holy Spirit why am I singing these words? Holy Spirit what do you want to say to me through them?

This was my experience after writing my last blog… the one where I encouraged us to reframe the word ‘obey’, the one where for someone who doesn’t know Greek, I sure used a lot of Greek words and the one where I said: (now quoting myself!) “Our ‘obedience’ to Jesus is because I’m close to him, I’m leaning in, inclining my ear, I’m learning to be like John with Jesus in John 13: so close as to feel his breath, sense his movements and even his heart rate”.

Remember?

What a joy—that we can know Jesus so personally, and so close.

As a teen I remember being in a worship meeting and very aware of the reality of the Father’s love and affection for me. I remember thinking “not everyone I know knows what this is like”. I remember wondering “how does God feel about those who don’t yet know him?” I remember asking him to show me. I’m sure he only showed me a glimpse but I felt a powerful sense of heartbreak in that moment. I ached on the inside, tears rolled down my cheeks and I found myself crying out to God for my unbelieving family and friends. I came away from that encounter different somehow, with a greater sense of urgency to demonstrate and communicate the love of God to those around me. That was one of the encounters which steered the course of my life and still does.

And so I’ve been reminded, again, that thought from my youth has resurfaced through the lyrics of a worship song; ‘Hosanna’ by Hillsong United from 2006.

“Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause”

‘Hosanna!’ Timely as we approach Easter to be reminded of this word. It was the cry of the crowd as they cheered and honoured Jesus as he entered Jerusalem (Palm Sunday as we know it) just five days before He would be crucified and seven days before He would be resurrected.

‘Hosanna’ doesn’t appear anywhere else in Scripture and was just about the most appropriate word the crowd could possibly have cried out. It means “oh save now” or “please save”, it’s a prayer, a cry for help and those shouting it wouldn’t have known the prophetic significance of what they were saying, despite the fact that they knew something of Lazarus’ own resurrection some days earlier.

Had they known what was to happen in the coming week, what we know now… if we could go back in time to join the cheering crowd—it would be the single most appropriate word for us to shout too—“Hosanna”!

And of course that is exactly what he did. He saved us. Jesus had already set his face for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 ESV), and for the Cross and therefore for you and for me.

So what breaks his heart? Hopelessness, injustice, sin and its effects, sickness, suffering, persecution and despair to name a few and I guess the list could go on. We don’t have to look far to see examples in the lives of our loved ones or our neighbours—near and far. They certainly break our hearts and therefore I’m sure they break His too, but underneath those things I think there is a root issue with eternal consequences which I believe distresses him further.

The account of Palm Sunday in Luke 19 gives us a clue:

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it”. The crowd is jubilant, but Jesus is sobbing. Jesus came to fulfil Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”” (‭Luke 4:18 NIV‬)

Jesus came as the way, the truth and the life (John 3:16)—to forgive us our past, ignite our present and declare prophetic promise over our eternal future and atone for it all.

Throughout his ministry he had healed the sick, cleansed leper’s, cast out demons and raised the dead. He revealed the Father, confirmed his deity by fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, taught on the Kingdom and the way of salvation and forgave sins.

And although many believed, many simply didn’t (John 12:37). John 1:11 says “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him”. He wept for those who did not believe and therefore those who rejected him. This broke his heart and still does.

So where does that leave me, or us and the words of that song I started with?

This Easter we get to give thanks and rejoice for our Salvation, with enormous gratitude we get to marvel again at the wonder of the Gospel and the price Jesus paid for us, we get to celebrate and dance and sing our hearts out and eat chocolate—and we should because we believe in the good news of Jesus, his death and resurrection and ascension and all that it means… But somewhere in there, as I recline with my risen saviour, I want to give myself afresh; for my heart to be as soft as His for those who don’t yet believe, I want to cry ‘Hosanna’ over those who have lost hope, and to quote the song, I want to offer “everything I am (everything he has made me) for his Kingdom cause”, whatever, wherever, whenever.

Happy Easter.