This post is part of a series of Christmas Devotionals by Dr. John Neihof, president of Wesley Biblical Seminary. You can find all of the devotionals by clicking here.
Scripture passages: Matthew 1:25, 21:9, Psalm 148:1
“Save us” is the cry of God’s people throughout the centuries.
When the Hebrew people called the name of their General Joshua, they were crying out “Save us!” God raised up Joshua to be a savior to his people.
What did he save his people from?
Joshua saved his nation with a good report of the land of Canaan. When the 10 spies rebelled with an evil report, Joshua saved everyone under 40 years of age when the people refused to enter Canaan at Kadesh-Barnea. Joshua saved the Hebrews during forty years of wandering in the desert. Joshua saved his nation at the flood-tide of the Jordan. He saved his nation in the conquest of Canaan. He saved Rahab, the harlot, at Jericho, and she became an ancestor to Jesus Christ. Joshua pointed us to Jesus, the One who would “save his people from their sins.”
Hosea, the prophet, saved Gomer, his slave-wife, from the life of prostitution into which she sold herself. God broke Hosea’s heart for the spiritual prostitution of his people. Hosea sought to save the people of Judah who had prostituted themselves after the gods of other nations. Hosea pointed us to Jesus Christ, the One who would “save his people from their sins.”
Jesus’ birth and death were marked with “Save us.” Mary and Joseph named Him Jesus–Hoshea in Hebrew–because He would save His people from their sins. On Palm Sunday, the crowds mobbed You crying “Hosanna, to the Son of David!” They spread their coats on the road as a pavement as He rode the donkey into Jerusalem. “Hosanna, to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
What did it all mean?
The Hebrew people thought Jesus would be their Savior from international military oppression. One nation after another–Babylon, Egypt, Rome–had oppressed them. They wanted a political savior. They wanted a military savior. You came for something more. True salvation. He came to save His “people from their sins.”
Make Hosanna your cry. “Hosanna, Jesus! Save us now, Savior!”
Hoshea. Hosanna. Jesus. Save us.