From the Hebrew hoshi ‘ah-na, it has the same connotation as the name Jesus (Yeshu) and means “save”. Look at Psalm 118:25-26a
Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!”
After the triumphal entry, complete with tree/palm branches being waved, shouts of acclimation from Followers and annoyance of religous leaders, Jesus cleans house. He heads into the temple, flips some tables and shouts judgement. The guy who rode in on a donkey — “borrowed”, no less — is now shutting down a central economic hub. The temple went from being a place of worship to being a tourist-trapish revenue generating concession stand, all at the expense of the regular joe who was trying to worship.
What exactly is Jesus saving us from?
Temples house 2 things — God’s presence on earth and God’s people. It was a God-ordained place for people to Worship. But it lost its function. The religous institution ceased to fulfill its God-ordained role and instead started to serve itself. And since sin exists in the hearts of men, somewhere along the line in our ancient history, someone made the decision to start cashing in — profiting — on Worship.
I started to think about slamming Tel-evangelists or trying to make a point with seeing the offering as a way for people to pay for church. But that’s not what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that I have been guilty of seeing Worship as a thing I do to get something. The moment I go to meet with the Lord with a list of expectations based on holding up my end of the bargain (getting out of bed before sunrise), then I’ve missed the whole purpose of God and made it a pragmatic approach to religion.
Worship is not about me. The moment the church starts missing the purpose of God, we are due for a good housecleaning/table flipping. And since sin begins in the human heart, so does cleansing. What is Jesus doing to turn the tables in your heart? In your ministry? At home?
Tomorrow in Worship, we’re going to join with the faithful and shout Hosanna!. I hope we know what we’re praying for.