4 min read

It's Palm Sunday

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds spread their clothes and palm branches along the road. So, I guess the day could also be called “Clothes on the Road Sunday,” but that doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
It's Palm Sunday
This week, sometimes known as Passion Week or Holy Week, is the high point of the Christian year. I have prepared a post for each day of the week.

However, in order to not clog up your inbox, you will only receive an email today (Sunday), Thursday, and Easter Sunday.

Go to www.doeverythinginlove.com to see posts each day.
“In times of war, conquerors would ride in chariots or upon prancing stallions. But in times of peace, the king would ride a colt to symbolize that peace prevailed. So, for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem upon a colt is to declare that He is a King proclaiming peace.”

Melvin Newland

Riding into town on a colt

Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a colt, the symbol of peace, greeted by shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest” (Matt 21:9, CEB)! This scene, well known in Christian tradition as “Palm Sunday,” is recognized as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah—

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion.
Sing aloud, Daughter Jerusalem.
Look, your king will come to you.
He is righteous and victorious.
He is humble and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the offspring of a donkey.

(Zecharaiah 9:9, CEB)

So, what do palms have to do with it?

Good question.

The meaning of palm branches

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds spread their clothes and palm branches along the road. So, I guess the day could also be called “Clothes on the Road Sunday,” but that doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

Palm branches symbolized hope and victory in the ancient Near East, particularly in Jewish tradition. By laying down their clothes (probably their outer cloaks, in most cases) and laying palm branches on the road, the people gave Jesus a royal welcome!

The long-awaited Messiah

“Hosanna, hosanna!” they shouted—a common Hebraic expression of praise which means “save us, please” or “save us now.” The bustling crowd that day believed Jesus to be the long-awaited Messiah, the Savior sent by God to deliver them from the oppression of Roman rule and restore Israel to its former glory.

Jesus was that Messiah.

Surely this was the moment for which generations of God’s people had been waiting!

palm leaf
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is celebrated by Christians worldwide, with a wide variety of traditions, processions, liturgies, services, and more. The celebration of Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week (also known as Passion Week), the most important week on the Christian calendar.

People are in celebration mode and Jesus is worthy of every hosanna being uttered. He is the Messiah, sent to save. But, the people’s celebration is focused on their own hopes of what will come to pass. Their vision is focused squarely on what they think they are about to gain. The treasure they will soon receive, however, is not at all what they expected.

The Jesus that I want

On this day, Jesus is riding the colt on the path everyone wants him to be on—the path that meets all their hopes and expectations.

What do I hope to get from faithfully following Jesus?

Let’s stand for a moment on the palm branches in the street. Whether we can admit it out loud or not, we all, at times, hope that Jesus will give us what we want, when we want it, and how we want it.

But Jesus didn’t ride into Jerusalem on a colt on that day so that I could get what I want…so that I could be personally fulfilled…so that my life would meet all of my selfish expectations.

The celebration will soon end, and the story will take more than one disturbing twist. But not today. Today, there is a question that must be asked—

One of the scariest questions in the Palm Sunday story…. How will I respond when Jesus comes riding humbly into my life? Will I recognize the time of God’s coming to me? Will I recognize and welcome God’s personal visit?

—Marty Boller in Palm Sunday: How Will You Respond?

Thank you for reading!

Be blessed as you celebrate and remember Palm Sunday.

In the Middle
Jesus hangs on the cross between two rebels, criminals who “heaped insults on him” and everyone else. The irony of the situation, compared to the earlier scene with James and John, cannot be ignored.
Three Amazing Truths
Each year at Easter, if we can see past the distractions of the thawing of winter, spring fever, Easter eggs (and the bunnies who lay them?), and all the busy-ness of the season, there are three simple truths we must never ignore or forget.