"Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!" (John 12:13)
The word Hosanna is not initially a Greek word. In fact, the definition of ὡσαννά (pronounced hōsanná) is basically just Hosanna. So what does this word really depict, and from whence did it come?
The word Hosanna comes from Psalms 118. Hosanna is now most commonly used as a shout of praise. However, the history of this word reveals a much greater depth of meaning than simply and exultation. Here in a moment I'm going to tell you why I believe a transition from a cry of help to an utterance of extolment has occurred.
"O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you." (Psalms 118:25-26)
The above phrase, "O Lord, save us" is precisely where the we get the word Hosanna. You see, the words "O" and "save" are combined to create a cry for help, and this cry is Hosanna. Let's begin breaking down these words.
The word "O" is the Hebrew interjection ’ānnā. ’Ānnā is an exclamatory petition. In other words, it could be translated as a plea for help.
Secondly, the word "save" is the word yāša‘ which means to deliver, rescue, and save. This word also means to give victory, and I'll show you another word in a moment that depicts a victory as well. Yāša‘ also holds connotations with the coming (in Old Testament times, before Christ Jesus came) indestructible and eternal salvation for which only the Messiah would pay the price. Lastly, this word is actually the very root from which we get the name Jesus! Now you can see how Hosanna is materialising!
The last word I would like to bring to your attention before showing you some verses I found in the Old and New Testaments. The last word for today is derived from the phrase "grant us success" found in Psalms 118:25. This is the word sālah in Hebrew. This verb depicts the action of granting abundance and attainment of victory. Here are two New Testament verses that are wonderful examples of the meaning found in this word.
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Now that we've covered those impeccably marvellous words contained in that one small passage of Psalms 118, it's time to look at the best part - Scripture.
I wish not to overwhelm you with too much theological terminology or whatnots. After all, our studying of His Word is not to merely acquire more knowledge, but to sharpen our understanding. Not to make a name for ourselves through the great uncovering we as human beings have discovered in His Book. Our goal as Christians and even theology students should be "to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith" (Acts 26:18).
Without further ado, it's time to delve into my favourite part of every morning. Today I'm sharing some verse which gave me much revelation.
"Your right hand, O Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy." (Exodus 15:6)
"...Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him." (1 Peter 3:21-22)
"This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation." (Psalms 118:20-21)
"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." (John 10:9)
"The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes." (Psalms 118:22-23)
"This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:11-12)
"Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?" (Matthew 21:42)
Yes Lord Jesus, we can see the truth of Your Word, more wonderful than many jewels, more valuable than gold. Oh how wonderful it is!
How wonderful is Your Word which teaches us salvation. We once were lost and in need of saving, so we cried out, "’Ānnā yāša‘!" You, Lord heard our desperation from heaven, and sent to us Your Holy One, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Hosanna! Hosanna! We cry out our victory song, "ὡσαννά!" We've attained our prosperity, because it is stored up in the Heavenly realm. No corruption of earth can deteriorate the success and abundance found only in Christ the Lord. Hosanna! Hallelu Yah! We are redeemed, and free forever!
-The Introverted Evangelist
Photograph Taken By: Jon Courville