Hosanna in the Highest

Palm Sunday

“Hosanna in the Highest,” cried the crowds long ago, as our Savior rode in to Jerusalem. On Palm Sunday, we remember His arrival into Jerusalem as Victor and King. His arrival excited just about everybody–friends and enemies alike.

Let’s read this account from Luke:

After Jesus had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

As He approached Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, He sent out two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’

So those who were sent went out and found it just as Jesus had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked, “Why are you untying the colt?”

“The Lord needs it,” they answered. Then they led the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks over it, and put Jesus on it.

As He rode along, the people spread their cloaks on the road. And as He approached the descent from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of disciples began to praise God joyfully in a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen:

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

But some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!”

“I tell you,” He answered, “if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:28-40

Matthew includes this word: Hosanna.

Now the crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!”

Matthew 21:9 (NASB)


What is this word mean, anyway? Well, it is sometimes used as a praise word, like “Hallelujah”. But the actual word means more than “praise the Lord”.

It is a cry: “Save us, Lord! Help! Save!”

And that’s why He was riding in to town. His arrival to Jerusalem was to do just that. But not in a way that anyone expected.

After that day, Jesus did a lot of other things, in that last week of His life. That week is referred to as Holy Week. (See Palm Sunday for more about that week). The week culminated in the saving acts of Christ’s death and resurrection. But this is not the end of the story.

He’s Coming!

Jesus will return. And when He comes again, it won’t be on a donkey. Scriptures tell us that His second coming will come with such overwhelming power and glory that the entire world will see His coming at once. Even though we live on a round globe. I don’t get just how that works. But, it will happen the way He says it will. Bank on it!

Listen to how Billy Graham explained it:

When Christ comes again — as He repeatedly promised to do — He will come through the heavens with glory and power, accompanied by a host of angels. All the earth will see His coming, and even His enemies will realize they have been opposing the Son of God. The Bible says, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him…. So shall it be!” (Revelation1:7).

We can barely imagine this, of course, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen! And when Christ returns, He will destroy all evil and rule the world in perfect righteousness and justice. This is why the Bible calls His return “the blessed hope — the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Today’s addition to our practice of praise is, of course, a Palm Sunday song! It is Hosanna, written and sung by the talented Brooke Ligertwood.

The song starts out with an enthusiastic understanding of what Christ’s second coming will be like! We see King Jesus arriving victorious over the foe. But until that day, our hearts still cry: Hosanna!

I see the King of GloryComing on the clouds with fireThe whole earth shakes, the whole earth shakes, yeahI see His love and mercyWashing over all our sinThe people sing, the people singHosanna, HosannaHosanna in the highestHosanna, Hosanna

Hosanna (Official Lyric Video) - Hillsong Worship

Hosanna Words And Music By Brooke Ligertwood © 2006

Hillsong Music Publishing Australia (Rest of World) & Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Australia (Aus/NZ Only) CCLI: 4785835