“Hosanna!” the people cried as Jesus entered the city. This is
one of the few words in Scripture that is not translated into English
(like Alleluia; Amen; and talitha, koum). How does
“Hosanna” translate into English? In most English translations
of Psalm 118:25, this word is translated “Save us!” It seems that
it may have been this psalm that the people of Jerusalem were
proclaiming as Jesus entered the city: “Save us, we beseech thee,
O LORD! O LORD, we beseech thee, give us success! Blessed be
he who enters in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the
house of the LORD. The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the
altar!” (Psalm 118:25–27). They were crying out to be saved by
God and his Christ.
Ironically, a few days later they cried out, “Crucify him,”
bringing about that very act of salvation. At times we lose sight
of how this mirrors the actions of their ancestors, the patriarchs
of the original twelve tribes, who sold one of their brothers into
slavery—and God used that act of treachery for his own end.
Thus at the end of Genesis we hear Joseph proclaim, “As for you,
you meant evil against me; but God meant if for good, to bring
it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are