A Hushed “Hosanna”

Have our hosannas been hushed?

Monday’s news headlined Tiger Woods and Game of Thrones, and the reporters had words of praise for both.

Palm Sunday’s hosannas didn’t make the news, but don’t be discouraged. Maybe our hosannas are more effective when they are delivered quietly and personally, with praise. The shouts of praise on Palm Sunday didn’t change Jerusalem’s culture, and our shouts probably won’t change the culture today.

The word hosanna means “Praise God and his Messiah, we are saved.” The people shouted “hosanna” as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The city was crowded with Jewish pilgrims who had traveled to the temple for Passover. But their shouting was short-lived.

Everyone, including the disciples, hushed their hosanna in fear—or in favor of—popular opinions on Friday.  

How should we share our hosannas today?  

Christians celebrate Palm Sunday, grieve Maundy Thursday, reverence Good Friday, and rejoice on Easter Sunday. Every day of Easter week has hosanna as this theme: “Praise God and his Messiah, we are saved.”

Should we “shout” that message to the world, or quietly offer that truth to someone who will listen?

In your experience, how did you come to know Jesus as your Messiah?

If shouting hosanna on Sunday was an effective plan, Jesus wouldn’t have been crucified on Friday.

The women arrived at the tomb and the body of Jesus was gone. The angel told them not to be alarmed, Jesus was risen. The angel said, “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid” (Mark 16:7–8).

The angel didn’t tell the women to run through the streets shouting the truth about Jesus. He said, “Go tell the disciples.” They were the people who were prepared to listen.

If shouting about the resurrection would have been effective, the angel would have instructed the women and the disciples to shout, “Hosanna, praise God and his Messiah, we are saved.”  

God could have filled the streets with his angels shouting praise. Instead, the angel told the women to send the disciples to Galilee and Jesus would meet them there.

Jesus appeared to two of them on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35). He appeared to seven of the disciples after they had been fishing, unsuccessfully, all night. Jesus told them to cast their net out and they pulled in a huge catch. He even cooked them breakfast (John 21:1–14). Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room and they ate together.  

But, Jesus never told his disciples to run into the streets and shout about his resurrection.

Christians became the message of Easter  

Jesus took his disciples to the Mount of Ascension and told them they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came and they would become his witnesses as a result (Acts 1:8). And those disciples began a movement that changed the world.  

Our witness isn’t in the words we shout. It is in the person we become when we are filled with his Spirit.  

Hosanna is the message  

“Praise God and his Messiah, we are saved.”

Our lives shout our hushed hosanna to people today.  

The apostle Paul described the power of a Spirit-led life this way: He told the believers to live pure lives and love one another. Then Paul wrote, “Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (1 Thessalonians 4:11–12).

Our hosanna has been hushed—not by the news media, but by the Holy Spirit.

The shouts of Palm Sunday didn’t change the world; Easter did. The truth about Jesus was revealed in the hushed hosannas of those who were filled with and empowered by the Spirit of his resurrected Son. Their lives were changed, and that will always be the truth of Easter.

Who needs to hear your hushed hosanna today?

This is a great week to preach that message with your life and with your love. Let’s allow the Spirit of the resurrected Christ to quietly “shout” our Easter praise.

Hosanna. Praise God and his Messiah, we are saved.