For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Two years ago when my wife and I were expecting our daughter, we went through a process which most expecting parents are excited to go through - deciding on the child's name. We must have gone through a hundred names but we couldn't seem to agree on one. The names we considered were either too common, too unique or in some instances, too tribal! We just couldn't seem to land on "the one."
When I was praying about a name one day, the name "Hosanna" came into my mind. I shared this with my wife, but she was a little sceptical - but to be honest, so was I. We did not really know of anyone who used "Hosanna" as a name. Since it was a name that popped up in my prayer, I decided to pray about it a bit more. I even started listening to the song "Hosanna" by Hillsong Worship while I commuted to work that week to see if I would somehow be inspired. I remember thinking that we have not sung that song at church in a while.
That Sunday, Pastor Rick talked about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He referred to the verse in Matthew 15:34, "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" I have always understood that this was the only moment in which Jesus felt separated from the Father and how terrible it must have been for Jesus to feel the Father turn away from him as he suffered the consequences of our sins.
Being an expectant father, this verse took on a whole new meaning for me that day. Instead of looking at it from Jesus' perspective, the Holy Spirit allowed me to appreciate it from the Father's perspective as well. It made me think how painful it must have been for the Father to hear his beloved Son cry out to Him, "why have you forsaken me?" at the moment of his Son's death...and how heart wrenching it must have been to have to turn away from Jesus and let him suffer and die. I could not even begin to imagine how crushed I would feel if I had to do the same to my daughter. God did it though because that is how much He loves us. I was able to feel God's love as described in John 3:16 and was finally able to fathom the weight of that verse. God indeed deserves every bit of our praise!
Pastor Rick even introduced the "Hosanna" worship song and explained that it is an expression of adoration, praise and joy. It was exactly how my heart was feeling towards our Father and Jesus at that moment, and I knew that there isn't a more appropriate name for my daughter than "Hosanna." I knew then that it wasn't a coincidence that this name popped into my mind earlier that week while praying.
Let us pray Hosanna by :
- Praising God who alone deserves our adoration and worship.
- Asking God to help us be eager to learn to praise Him wherever we are and whatever the circumstances.