Today is Palm Sunday! It is just 7 days before Easter and it is absolutely my favorite season of the year. There is something refreshing and new about Easter time. Maybe it’s the colorful tulips starting to bloom, or the beginning of the warmer weather or the reminder of the humbling sacrifice of our Savior. (..that one is probably it!)
I grew up in a small town (just under 250 people) where my father was the local church pastor. Every Sunday the local people would crowd in and pack the few church pews to listen to his inspiring sermons.
There was one Sunday that was extra special and I still think about it to this day, almost 20 years later. It was Palm Sunday. What made this day so memorable? On that Palm Sunday my dad had flown in palm tree branches. These gigantic bright green leaves filled the tiny little church with so much spirit and emotion. The majority of the people sitting in those small town pews had never seen palm tree branches before and I, as a 11-year-old little girl, hadn’t either. It was simply magical. When I tell people the story about that Palm Sunday, I always hear the same question. “What is the significance of the palm branches?”
Do you know what the significance of the palm branch?
The Bible tells us Jesus began his last week on earth by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, under a canopy of people waving palm branches. The crowds hailed him as their king and covered his path with their coats and palm branches and shouted “Hosanna the Son of David. Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in the highest Heaven!” Matthew 21:9. After the celebration Jesus began his journey to the cross.
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said “Don’t be afraid, people of Israel. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey colt.” – John 12: 14-15
The donkey was symbol of peace, those who rode upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions. The laying of palm branches indicates that our King was arriving in victory and triumph and the meaning of the Hebrew word Hosanna, means save.
On Palm Sunday we celebrate Jesus Triumphal entry into Jerusalem and reflect on Jesus’ final week of life. Today (and apparently 20 years ago) churches hand out palm leaves as sign that they have victory through Christ.
May the spirit of this holy occasion and the warmth of the season make your heart bloom with joy and happiness. Have a blessed Palm Sunday my friends.
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