Palm Sunday

April 2

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, or the week leading up to Easter Sunday. Most of us know the importance of Easter as one of the most foundational days of our faith when Christ victoriously rose from the grave defeating sin and death, but what is the significance of Palm Sunday.

The donkey, the crowds, and the palm branches:

  • A donkey marks the beginning of the account of Jesus’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as we see Jesus instruct His disciples to find a donkey for Him to enter the city on. (Matt. 21:1 – 7). The last time a donkey was chosen as a vessel, was when Mary rode on the back of a donkey carrying baby Jesus in her womb. This time we see Jesus Himself entering into the city of Jerusalem on a humble donkey.
  • The crowd is another key detail to look closer at in discussing Palm Sunday. Jesus was leading a crowd of His followers and disciples, many who had possibly been following Him since He began His earthly ministry in Galilee. These people had seen Jesus preform many miracles and wondrous acts firsthand. They were some of the first to begin to see Jesus for who He really is, the Son of God (Mark 10:47).
  • The palm branches and cloaks the crowd lay on the road before Jesus are signs of an overflow of joyous praise. The people shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Hosanna means “O save us” in Hebrew and I loved discovering this detail. It gives so much more insight to the meaning of this event. Like many of us before we came to know Jesus as our Savior, this crowd does not know just how desperately they need Jesus to save them (Rom. 3:10 – 12).

Jesus’s time and life on Earth had all been leading up to the cross, and His entrance into the city on Palm Sunday began the final steps in the plan for salvation that God decreed before the ages and promised to Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:15). Jesus came to die for the crowd of sinners that followed Him as well as the crowd of sinners that would shout “Crucify Him.” Both crowds regardless of their actions were in need of salvation, like us, and both crowds were given an incredible gift of grace that we too partake in (Romans 6:23).

Prayer for Palm Sunday

When you come to me in communion, Lord Jesus, I am happy and content. I forget my woes and worries in my love for you. If I go from happiness into depression, I feel awful, yet I forget that, during the first Holy Week, you made the same journey.
How excited you must have been when the crowds welcomed you in Jerusalem, and when at last it seemed that they understood your message.
Yet a few days later they were howling for your blood, wishing you dead. The praise of Palm Sunday made the sufferings of your Passion worse. It would be difficult for any human being to take such a strain, yet you were more, for you were God.
Your state was divine, you were the equal of God our Father, yet you humbled yourself to become one like us. Not only were you born for us, but you humbled yourself to die for us, all because of the will of your Father. How can I thank you, Lord, for all that you have done for me! As usual, I forget to thank you for your gifts, for your grace.
I´m inclined to presume on you for all that I need.
When I think of your sufferings, I realize that my own are as nothing.
Thank you for keeping me alive today, able to look forward to tomorrow. Thank you for the food I eat, for the clothes I wear, for the house I live in. Thank you, Lord, for the grace to keep going until you call me to yourself. It´s a long road that knows no ending, but I can travel it in confidence, since I know that you are there waiting for me at the gate of Heaven.