By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley, based on Rev. 7:9-17
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” This, of course, was the refrain on Palm Sunday. Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly as King. The crowds welcomed him with lavish praises and spread palm branches before him as a symbol of victory. “Hosanna” was a plea from the people, saying to Jesus, “Now save us!”
In our reading from Revelation, there is again a great crowd assembled around the Lamb, Jesus. The people have palm branches in their hands, symbolizing the victory of Christ. However, instead of shouting “Hosanna,” this crowd is crying out, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” The crowd on Palm Sunday was begging for Jesus’s salvation. This crowd in John’s vision is rejoicing in the fact that Jesus has saved them – it is done. The victory has been won.
Although the multitude that John sees in his vision has experienced a great tribulation, they are beyond joyful – they are praising God with every aspect of their being, because he has saved them and given them great blessings. They are sheltered in God’s presence. They will never again experience hunger or thirst or sadness. “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water” (verse 17). Never again will they feel separated from God, for he is with them day and night and for eternity.
We are still here; we are still waiting for the Last Day, when we will be raised up with all believers for eternity. However, we don’t have to wait to say “Salvation belongs to the Lamb!” When we gather together and praise God, we are praising together with the great multitude. We know that Jesus has already won our salvation, and we can rejoice in this fact with the multitude in heaven.