DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: ‘Hosanna’ – an Easter word that cries ‘salvation’
The crowd at Jesus' triumphal entry (Matthew 21:1-11) echoed the words of Psalm 118.
What words are most associated with the Easter season? The first word that I want to bring to your consideration is associated with Jesus’ triumphal entry (Matthew 21:1-11) – “Hosanna.”
We encounter this word in Matthew 21:9, where the crowd shouts, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” as Jesus, on a colt, rides into Jerusalem and begins His final week of ministry, and life, before His crucifixion.
We often find this word in the lyrics of our favorite hymns and worship songs. We hear it said from pulpits, most often on Palm Sunday. But what does the word “Hosanna” actually mean?
“Hosanna” is a Greek transliteration (a word spelled in the characters of another alphabet) of a Hebrew word that occurs in Psalm 118:25, “Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success!” The word is translated as “save us!”
Psalm 118 is a typical psalm of hope and triumph that travelers to Jerusalem would sing as they climbed the road to Jerusalem. Worshipers would also sing this song when they made their way into the temple during the week of Passover. This was a familiar word that communicated the hope for salvation and became a shout of praise to God.
How much more meaning does the word “Hosanna” take on when it is sung to Jesus, the Son of God, as He makes His way into Jerusalem before the Passover! He Himself is the One to whom the Passover was pointing – the Lamb of God who would be slain for the sin of the world.
“Hosanna” is a word that still applies today, as we are in desperate need of the Lord’s salvation. Soon, the faithful will gather on Palm Sunday, celebrating and joining their voices with the throng of people so long ago, “Hosanna [save us], Son of David! Blessed is He [Jesus] who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna [salvation] in the highest!”
Won’t you consider lifting your voice to the Lord, too?