Today the Christian world observes what has become know as Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter commemorating Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem during the feast of Passover. On that day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on “the colt of an ass” and many followers took palm branches and went out to meet him. And as they followed Him through the streets of Jerusalem they shouted out in recognition that Jesus was indeed the Messaiah.
Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” – Matthew 21:8-10 NKJV
While the word “Hosanna” is generally known to be an expression of praise, it has a meaning very specific to Jesus Christ. The word Hosanna comes from the Hebrew word הושיעה־נא, hôšî‘â-nā’, and it was recorded in the Greek Bible as ὡσαννά, hōsanná.
The literal definition of Hosanna is: 1) save, we pray 2) help, we pray.
When combined with praise and adoration, Hosanna is recognition that salvation comes in and through Jesus Christ alone. The people are praising Him as the Son of David, as the King of the Jews, as the Savior of the world. The people recognized their Savior, and in that, cried out in praise that the promised Messaiah had come, and immediately sought for salvation crying out “save us, we pray”.
This is further underscored by the means of Jesus entrance into Jerusalem. He came in riding on a donkey, as was prophesied by Zechariah. It was also the fashion by which a new king would make his ceremonial entrance into the kingdom as was done by Solomon when he was anointed king.
So today, as we should do every day, praise our Savior and King and continue to rely on Him as the source of our help and salvation.
Related article: Behold Your King is Coming to You Riding on an Ass