What Does Hosanna Mean? That is a great question! Hosanna is a beautiful word that holds great meaning for us.
Meaning of Hosanna
Hosanna means, please save us! Our salvation has finally arrived! It is a prayer—and a praise! A sigh of relief from a thirsty people that God’s long-awaited salvation has finally come.
Save Us Now
When Jesus walked the earth, the Jewish people gathered in Jerusalem yearly to celebrate the Passover feast. It marked the day almost fifteen hundred years earlier when God delivered the Jews from their enslavement in Egypt. As part of their celebration, the people cried ‘Hosanna’ when Jesus made His triumphal entry, on an unbroken colt, only a week before His crucifixion. The crowd shouted,
“Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-10).
Ritual or Reality?
Many in the crowd recognized Jesus as the Son of David, their Messiah. But many who laid their palm branches on the road before Him – a traditional way to welcome a newly crowned king- were only performing their yearly Passover ritual, anticipating a future day when their Messiah would come and deliver them.
Jesus was their Messiah in truth, but most were going through the motions, not realizing who He was. They weren’t celebrating the reality of the ceremony present in the Person of Jesus.
This is the ‘Day’
Traditionally, the Jews sang the Hallel (praise) Psalms (Psalms 113-118) as part of the Passover celebration. One of the passages they recited was from Psalm 118, which led the crowd to ask God to ‘Hosanna (save us now!).’ They cried,
“This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save us, we ask You, Lord; O Lord, we ask You, send now success” (Psalm 118:24-25).
There’s a familiar Christian chorus titled, “This is the Day.’’ It has the line, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
What ‘Day’ is It?
It’s a song of celebration. But even Christians miss the significance of what ‘day’ is meant in this Psalm. Most think they’re praising God for this current twenty-four-hour day He’s given us. And we as Christians should be thankful for each day. But the Bible had a specific future day in mind.
The ‘day’ is the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The ‘day’ that Jesus died for the sins of the world. It is the same ‘day’ the Apostle Paul refers to:
“For He (God) says: “In an acceptable time I have listened to you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you. Look, now is the accepted time; look, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Jesus accomplished salvation on that ‘day.’ That salvation is now available to all who believe in Jesus’ Name.
Hosanna is Perfect Praise
On the ‘day’ of Jesus’ triumphal entry, even the children called out to Jesus for Hosanna. Sometimes children can see what educated adults cannot:
“When the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were extremely displeased and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of children and infants, You have perfected praise’?” (Matthew 21:15-16).
“He (Jesus) answered them (the Jewish leaders who wanted silence), “I tell you, if these should be silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40).
Hosanna: The Day of Salvation
Hosanna! What a beautiful word. This is the ‘day’ that the Lord has made. Not just any or every day. But the ‘day’ of salvation: He (Jesus) became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). We obey Him by believing that he promises salvation to all who believe in Him.
Please watch the Great News video on this page to find out more about salvation through Jesus and reach out to us with any questions you might have.