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Text: Matthew 21.6-11

Jesus’ “triumphal entry” is recorded in all four gospels. One word Matthew, Mark, and John include (that Luke leaves out) is “Hosanna.” While we often hear it in songs around Easter, its meaning can be difficult to understand. “Hosanna” originates in the Hebrew Old Testament and means “save me,” like something you’d yell if you were hanging on the edge of a cliff about to fall.

However, the word also shows up in the Greek New Testament and has a slightly different meaning. When Jesus’ followers cry out “Hosanna to the Son of David…Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21.9), they’re no longer saying, “Save me,” but “Salvation has come.” It’s the difference between hanging on the cliff versus having a rope thrown to you from your rescuer above. The meaning has changed from desperate need to joyful celebration.

This is true for us as well! Jesus has come, traveled the road to the cross, bore our sin, and been resurrected from the grave. We, too, can cry out “Hosanna,” salvation is here!

As you welcome God into the start of your day, worship the One who has come and rescued us. Listen to the song “Hosanna” by Hillsong. Personalize the words “Hosanna in the highest” as a prayer of worship and thanksgiving for all God’s done for you. Also, for a more in-depth perspective on today’s devotional, visit a teaching by theologian John Piper entitled “Hosanna.”