Palm Sunday is this weekend. Every year when the Lenton season rolls around I come to realize more and more what really happened on that eventful day in Jerusalem.
Until just the last few years I was more than a little bumfuzzled why the Jews o Jesus day were so excited to see him one day, as he rode into the City of Jerusalem on that donkey, and less than a week later the same people couldn't wait to see him crucified.
As a child I watched one Easter weekend the movie "King of Kings". I cried myself to sleep that night. When I've thought back on it I have to admit that the tears were mostly about an man who was unjustly tried for a crime he didn't commit. Where's the justice, I thought. How could this happen to him? The cru ifixion scene was more than my eight-year-old eyes could see or my mind could wrap itself around.
Fast forward to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ". The theater was packed. It was quiet as a tomb in there and when the movie was finished and the credits were rolling no one got up to leave. "King of Kings" was mild in comparison to the gutwrenching scenes of the scourging, walk to Golgotha and the crucifixion. Forever my eyes were opened and Palm Sunday became a focus of years of questioning, searching, studying and discussing with other believers.
The people wanted a king who would overthrow the Romans. Instead of seeing Jesus for the Good Shepherd he was (and is), they thought he was the king to end their suffering. And how quickly the tides turned when given a choice between Jesus, the Healer, the Teacher, their Spiritual King and Barabbas, the Zealot. The Zealots definitely lived on the edge but were fighting the Romans..albeit a crime.
Hosanna! they shouted as he made his triumphant entry to the City. Hosanna means 'save us we pray'. How many of us have gone through our Chrisitan journey thinking it was another word something like hallelujah? I did....I readily admit it. I only learned differently when I was learning sign language and had to sign the word. The sign is literally "save us we pray". So I began searching...and there it was in black and white. The people wanted Jesus to save them from the Roman tyranny they suffered.
But who started the notion of killing Jesus? The religious leaders of the day? Knowing this was God's plan for our salvation, was it all carefully orchestrated by God with Satan watching from some perch somewhere laughing and cheering on the naysayers and death cries? Satan will NEVER learn. He always gloats when something bad happens to us so can you imagine how he felt when Jesus was beaten, spat on, nailed to a cross and ridiculed? Only to have it all thrown right back in his face...
Whatever happened on the day of Jesus' triumphant entry, it was a glimpse for us of another day when he will reappear victorious...another Triumphant Entry, if you will. Even so, Lord Jesus COME!
Very nice post. Hosanna actually has a few different variations and meanings depending on the translation and what language it is used and derived from.
"Hosanna" (Greek transcription: ὡσαννά, hōsanna) is the cry of praise or adoration shouted in recognition of the Messiahship of Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem, Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. It is used in the same way in Christian praise.
"Hoshana" is a Hebrew word meaning please save or save now. In Jewish liturgy, the word is applied specifically to the Hoshana Service, a cycle of prayers from which a selection is sung each morning during Sukkot, the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. The complete cycle is sung on the seventh day of the festival, which is called Hoshana "Great Hosanna")
Hosanna" (Greek transcription: ὡσαννά, hōsanna) is the cry of praise or adoration shouted in recognition of the Messiahship of Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem, Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! It is used in the same way in Christianpraise.
Overall, it seems that "Hosanna" is a cry for salvation; while at the same time is a declaration of praise. Therefore, it may be derived that this plea for help is out of an agreeably positive connotation.
The old interpretation "Save, now!" which may be a popular etymology, is based on Psalm 118:25 (Hebrew הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא hOshEeah-nna) (Possibly "Savior"). This does not fully explain the occurrence of the word in the Gospels, which has given rise to complex discussions.