As Jesus makes His triumphal entry on a donkey through the gate in Jerusalem, shouts of Hosanna ring out, palm leaves are waved, and cloaks are spread on the road before Him, signifying His majesty. In many ways this was a festive time because they were witnessing with their own eyes the promised Messiah fulfilling prophesy laid out in Zechariah 9:9 which says, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Though there were many reasons to rejoice, the Hosanna’s the crowd shouted were also pleas for help. That’s what the word Hosanna stands for. It is a cry expressing an appeal for God to intervene in their struggles. Their shouts of joy were also prayers to God for relief. The appearance of the Messiah meant that the Lord had heard their pleadings. That is why they followed their cries of Hosanna with “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
We hear this cry also in Psalm 118:25-26, “Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.” Every day after the fall throughout history this cry has rung out from the many lips of those who find themselves in trial yet have faith enough to know that the Lord will come in times of need.
That’s what makes the word, “Hosanna,” one of joy. Yes, it’s a shout of those in need of saving, but it’s also a cry out in faith to God of thanksgiving for coming to the rescue. People who cry out their Hosanna’s do so with the assurance that God will hear their cry and be a great help in times of trial.
The word, “Hosanna,” is a sign of respect and honor to the one true God who is the only one who can save them. In the time of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem it might have been a plea for help from the oppression they were experiencing at the hands of the Romans. It might have been a call for relief from the pressure brought on by the religious leaders or it might just have been a request for an easier life in general.
Whatever the reason, the important thing is that they were putting their trust in the one true God to hear their Hosanna’s. They were motivated by faith to lay their struggles on the coming Messiah and now they were witnessing God being good to His promise. There was certainly reason to rejoice!
Just as God longed to hear His people come to Him through shouts of faithful Hosanna’s, so He longs to hear us still today. He wants to be the one we turn to in times of need. He wants to be your relief in times of struggle.
It must have been difficult for Jesus’ to hear the cries of the faithful only to know that cries for His death would soon follow. Soon the shouts He would hear would change from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify Him!” The cries of the faithful would be drowned out by the cries of deceit.
In our world, many of our pleas for help are suffering the same fate. More and more the pleadings of the faithful are being overcome with the shouts of the worldly ringing out further calls of crucifixion. They want the death of all things godly so that they might reign supreme. They want to kill the one true God for gods of their own making. That way they may shape them into their image rather than the other way around.
This is nothing new. Mankind has always been rebellious and will always be rebellious. Still, God keeps His ears open to the shouts of Hosanna from those who continue to place their hope and trust in Him. His heart is still with His people and His love has not diminished despite our many attempts to rid ourselves from His influence.
Do you find yourself in time of need? If so, shout your cries of Hosanna to the Lord for His promise to be with you and help you in times of trial. Place your faith in the only one who can save you. Let God rescue you from worldly influence and trust in Him to keep you on the narrow path towards heaven. He’s listening. What will your shouts consist of? Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for being our very present help in times of trouble. Increase in us a true faith and help us to trust in You for every need. Amen.