Have you ever reached the end of your rope? I’m talking about true despair, the I-can’t-do-this-anymore moment. Have you been in physical peril, in imminent danger of drowning or falling? Have you cried out “Save me!”?
If so, when did you want to be saved? By and by, mañana? Or now? The answer is now, right now.
If you’ve spent any time around church, you may be familiar with the exclamation “Hosanna!”. You may even associate the word with Palm Sunday (the week before Easter) and waving palm leaves or branches. Let’s see why.
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.”
16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. (John 12:12-16)
We see hosanna used here as a praise term to celebrate Jesus’ arrival into the city. The Jewish people were anticipating that Jesus was to be the king who would deliver them from Roman occupation and oppression. (Their perspective was far too limited. Jesus was actually entering the city to serve as a living sacrifice for the sins of all people for all time, to deliver everyone who believes in Him from death. They missed the mark to say the least. This is often my experience with God, though. My tiny requests are met with giant, unimagined blessings.) Hosanna is a Greek word that means ‘save now’. It is derived from the Hebrew phrase hoshi’ah na.
They were excited. It’s happening, finally! The long awaited Messiah is here. Save us now! Hosanna!
This proclamation is an echo of Psalm 118:25, written hundreds of years earlier in anticipation of Jesus’ arrival. The method of His arrival was prophesied by Zechariah.
9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
These events were no accident. They were all part of a plan that began at creation and extends to this very day, to you, personally.
Shout your own hosanna right now, friend. Don’t wait! Welcome Jesus into your life, into your heart, this very moment. His desire is to save you, heal you, love you.