Do you ever wonder what that really means? We sing it in praise songs, we read it in the Gospels. But do we live it? Do we know it? Do we know Him?
Hosanna is a word of praise that also has a direct meaning: save. When people shouted out Hosanna, they were shouting out “Save!” or “Salvation!” It is a praise in that it recognizes that only one has the power to save. But I also personally interpret it as a plea, as a request: Save! God Save! It is praise mixed with plea, a beautiful symphony of humanity’s purpose and humanity’s needs. Hosanna.
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John, people call out “Hosanna!” to Christ when He enters the town riding a donkey. The Savior of the world rode a donkey into the town to be among the people he so desired to redeem.
He enters our lives in much the same humble, unexpected ways. Some of the people there were fortunate enough to recognize him as Hosanna, and among these were children. They were not analyzing the situation. They didn’t interpret through a particular hermeneutic. They simply recognized the Divine and they praised Christ for his power to save and for who he was. Do we do this in our lives?
A few weeks ago, I was working out in the recreation center and I was wearing my church’s T-shirt. Our church mission statement is “Changing Lives Through Jesus Christ,” and it was written across my back. A gentleman approached me and asked me a very simple question. He said, “I’m a Christian too, and I was wondering how you go about changing lives through Jesus Christ in your life?”
I was taken aback. It was only about 7:30 a.m. and I was not fully prepared to ponder the points in my life where faith and reality meet, but I attempted to. I explained that I simply tried to live my faith, even though I am often unsuccessful in representing Christ. I told him about my roles on campus, but what I should have told him was “Hosanna.” Salvation and Praise. To live into Christ’s identity and become like him, we must praise him in word, in deed, in thought. We must proclaim him and his power to save: Hosanna.
This week, as we are so close to recognizing Jesus’ resurrection, I invite you to focus on the path of servanthood he took before he was resurrected. And join me in exclaiming salvation and praise: HOSANNA!