(Mark 11:9) Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday the people cried out "Hosanna!" It's a word we throw out every now and then as well as on this special day. It's a fun word and has a happy feeling to it. But what does it mean? It's always good to know the reason behind what we are doing as believers in the Lord so let's give some definition.
Hosanna is a Hebrew word that is built from two other words to give a compound meaning. The first part yasha' means to "save" or "deliver." The second part na' means "I pray now." So together the word hosanna means "come and save me now I pray."
Why were the people saying this at the time of the triumphal entry into the city? Well, they were pilgrims coming into Jerusalem for the Passover feast and the Jews would traditionally sing selections from the Psalms. This would include the Song of Ascents (Psalm 120-134) as they were ascending up to the city of Jerusalem. They would also have the Hallel psalms (Psalm 113-118) on their minds that were sung at the great festivals of Israel. Psalm 118:25-26 says . . . "Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! . . . referring to how salvation only comes from the Lord and one is blessed who comes in the name of Yahweh to worship at the Temple.
So now you can picture it. As Jesus was riding into the city He met a group of pilgrims singing these celebratory psalms in anticipation of the Passover feast. Suddenly their praise shifts over to Jesus and His coming as King into the holy city. Psalm 118:25-26 became their special song and it was prophetic of Jesus' offer of Himself as King to His people. Jesus came in the name of the Lord and the people were crying out for the King to save them. Even the children were picking up the refrain and Jesus said if they didn't, the rocks would cry it. It was a special time and a special event as our Lord entered His passion towards the cross.
But did you know that a person may still cry "hosanna" today? The first hosanna is when we ask the Lord to save us. We recognize Jesus as the One who came in the name of the Lord to bring His salvation through His shed blood. Have you cried hosanna to the Lord? Have you asked Him to save you now? Do you recognize Him as the One who came from the Father? That He went to the cross and rose again? (Rom 10:9) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
The second hosanna you can use is when you as a believer are found in some kind of trouble. You need the Lord to save you and to save you now! You understand that Jesus comes in the name of the Lord to be the help that you need in times of difficulty. That it's not a program you need. It's the person of Jesus Christ who you can call upon. He will rescue you from the dangerous waters that threaten you. He is a refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble. (Psa 46:1) All you have to do is cry out like Peter when he was going under and say," Lord, save me!" (Mat 14:30) He will stretch out His hand to save you and deliver you in a flood of great waters. (Psa 32:6)
Hosanna! Now you know it's a prayer you can pray as well. On Palm Sunday or any day!!