What Does “Hosanna” Mean?

From  Mark 11:1-18 

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey in order to fulfill  prophesy and the people shouted praises…

“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” Mark 11:9–10

Save, I Pray

Hosanna is one of those fancy words worship leaders like to put into songs, but what does it mean? Lowe Nida Lexicon defines it as,

“an Aramaic expression meaning ‘help, I pray’ or ‘save, I pray’… its association with liturgical expressions involving praise and exaltation resulted in the expression acquiring quite a different significance; hence, a phrase such as ‘hosanna in the highest’ became equivalent to ‘praise be to God.”

So Hosanna basically means “save, I pray” but generally when used as in the praise “hosanna in the highest” it was used as an exclamation of worship. The use of this word along with the phrase “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” is showing that the people connected Jesus with Ps 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! ” Psalm 118:25–26a

Save Us, We Pray

Next time you sing the word “Hosanna” remind yourself that the person you are worshiping is powerful and can help you, save you, and give your success! Jesus really did enter Jerusalem that day in order to save us by eventually dying on the cross for our sins.

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