HOSANNA — A word used to herald the birth of a King by a host of angels, and then used again to honor the now adult as He rode into Jerusalem. The Hebrew word means “save, we pray.” On the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the most humble of animals, a new donkey that had never been ridden, those who gathered to herald him as King of Israel sought after a ruler who would come and overthrow the Roman government which they had been dealt a short hand. They sought a ruler who would come in with strength and as a soldier, poised and ready to wage war and overthrow a tyrannical reign over the Jews. They were in search of what they wanted, but Jesus came to give them what they truly needed. They were totally unaware of what the angelic host knew on the night He was born — that He came, not to overthrow not a physical rule, but to bridge the gap between Creator and creation, a rift created in the Garden of Eden by the introduction of sin.
Often, along personal journey, when we seek the Savior, our souls cry “Hosanna”, but what we really want is to be saved from our circumstances, from the trials and obstacles of this life. We often miss the opportunity to ask God to save us from the things that got us into that situation, the weaknesses and faults that are exposed in the valley experiences that God allows us to traverse. The reality is that our version of “Hosanna” more frequently sounds like “Why me?” Instead, our version of “Hosanna” ought to sound like “Lord, what is it that you want to save me from in this situation?” The incredible gift of Jesus on the cross is that God continues to save us every day that we choose to die to self and surrender to the process of transformation that He wants to do in us.
“Hosanna” is not just a chant in the moment, whether it heralds the birth of the King of Kings, or the triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem as he began his final journey to the cross. “Hosanna” is the anthem of the Christian journey. It is the persistent cry of the soul that acknowledges it is in need of a Savior EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is a declaration of surrender to the only One who can truly redeem our soul and restore the connection between creation and Creator. “Hosanna”…”save, we pray” is a humble statement that says to God, “I can’t make it without You.” “Hosanna”, beloved, is a statement, not for the weak-willed or the faint of heart. It is a profound and sincere mantra of faith in a Savior who gave up all He knew in order to participate in the greatest love story ever written, one of a Creator so desperate to repair a relationship ravaged by sin that He gave of His very Person in order to restore what had been lost so many years ago.
So, if you can’t seem to figure out what your purpose is on this earth… If you really want restoration and transformation in your life… If you are searching for peace and can’t seem to find it…. If you have been looking for a love that could heal all the broken places in your heart and soul… May I suggest you start talking to your Creator? He responds to “Hosanna”…”save, we pray.”
This is what Palm Sunday is really about. As we wave palms and cry “Hosanna”, we ought to realize what we are saying, and embrace the assertion that we are in need of a Savior who came to “save, we pray.” Thank you Lord, for coming to save us…