“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’” – John 12:13
My favorite holiday is Easter. I enjoy both the secular and spiritual parts of the season. My house is full of bunnies and lambs (not live). Those decorations bring a smile to my face.
I have good memories of the Easter season as a child. My mom made Easter baskets for my brother and me, and every Easter morning, I woke up, and a basket was at the end of my bed. I had not been diagnosed as a diabetic yet, so I got a chocolate rabbit, jellybeans, chocolate eggs, and a special surprise. Those of you who know me know that I am a clotheshorse; every year for Easter, I got a new dress!
As an adult, Easter has a much different meaning. I am a Christian, and without Easter, Christianity would be nonexistent.
This Sunday, April 2, 2023, is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week!
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem (Also called the Triumphal Entry) for the Jewish holiday, Passover. As Jesus entered the city, people lined the streets and laid their coats and palm branches on the ground before Him. This act is a symbolic gesture of the crowd honoring Christ as a king. As Jesus rode to Jerusalem, the people said, “Hosanna.” Hosanna means, please save us. The fact that Jesus rode a donkey is essential to notice. Conquering kings rode into situations in chariots or on horseback. Jesus rode a donkey to show that he was not the king of this world.
I found some interesting information in the below blog:
5 Things about Palm Sunday that Remind Us Christ is King
1. God's Word tells us the people cut palm branches, waved them in the air, and laid them out on the ground before Jesus as He rode into the city. The palm branch represented goodness and victory and was symbolic of the final victory He would soon fulfill over death.
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Cor. 15:55
2. Jesus chose to ride in on a donkey, which directly fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy of Zech. 9:9. In Biblical times, it was common for kings or important people to arrive by a procession riding on a donkey. The donkey symbolized peace, so those who chose to ride them showed that they came with peaceful intentions. Jesus even then reminded us that He is the Prince of Peace.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Zech. 9:9
3. When the people shouted "Hosanna!" they were hailing Christ as King. That word actually means "save now," and though in their own minds, they waited for an earthly king, God had a different way of bringing true salvation to all who would trust in Him.
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!" Ps. 118:26
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Rom. 10:9
4. The Bible says that Jesus wept for Jerusalem. Amid the praise of the moment, He knew in His heart that it wouldn't be long that these same people would turn their backs on Him, betray Him, and crucify Him. His heart broke with the reality of how much they needed a Savior.
"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it, and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes." Luke 19:41-42
5. Palm Sunday reminds us that the reign of Christ is far greater than any man's mind could ever conceive or plan. Man looked for someone to fight their battles in the present day world. Yet God had the ultimate plan of sending His Son to fight the final battle over death. This is the greatness of why we celebrate this week. Because of Christ's ultimate sacrifice, we can be set free of death.
"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,'" John 11:25
(McDaniel, Debbie, “5 Things About Palm Sunday That Reminds Us Christ is King”, Crosswalk, March 28, 2023)
I started this blog by saying that Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week. The four most well-known days are.
· Palm Sunday
· Maundy Thursday – Last Supper celebrated; Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.
· Good Friday – Day of Jesus’ crucifixion.
· Easter Sunday – Jesus rose from the dead (The resurrection).
Things to do during Holy Week
· Read the Easter story in all four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
· Examine your relationship with Christ.
· Journal your thoughts about this tragic yet glorious time of year.
· List your blessings.
· Start a gratitude journal.
· Attend services at church.
· Volunteer at your church’s services.
Have a great week.