Palm Sunday - April 5, 2020

 palm-hand.png  The Sunday before Easter Is Called Palm Sunday.

No, the Palm referred to in Palm Sunday is not the palm of a hand.  It refers to palm branches that were cut and laid in the path of Jesus as he triumphantly rode a young donkey from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem the Sunday before he was crucified.

Luke 19:35-36 (KJV) says, "And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.  And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.

John 12:13 (KJV) says they, "Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." 

Matthew 21:8 (KJV) says, "And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way."  Mark 11:8 agrees with Matthew.

Maybe we could call the Sunday before Easter Triumphal Entry Sunday or Vexed Pharisee Sunday since John is the only gospel that actually mentions palm branches. 

Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a young donkey the Sunday before he was crucified caused quite a stir.  The Pharisees, religious leaders in the Jewish temple, were not happy with the commotion he and the crowds created.

 

 

 

John 12:12-19 (Easy to Read Version)
12  The next day the people in Jerusalem heard that Jesus was coming there. These were the crowds of people who had come to the Passover festival.
13  They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus. They shouted, "'Praise Him!' 'Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!' God bless the King of Israel!"
14  Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, as the Scriptures say,
15  "Do not be afraid, people of Zion! Look! Your king is coming. He is riding on a young donkey."
16  The followers of Jesus did not understand at that time what was happening. But after he was raised to glory, they understood that this was written about him. Then they remembered that they had done these things for him.
17  There were many people with Jesus when he raised Lazarus from death and told him to come out of the tomb. Now they were telling others about what Jesus did.
18  That's why so many people went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign he did.
19  So the Pharisees said to each other, "Look! Our plan is not working. The people are all following him!"

Zechariah 9:9 (KJV) says,"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." 

Jesus apparently chose a donkey colt to satisfy the prophecy from Zechariah.  A donkey was a lowly mode of transportation compared to a white horse Jesus is later depicted as riding in Revelation 19:11.  Jesus rode an animal used by poorer folks and this one would have been of minimal value because it had never been ridden.  It was untrained and wasn't even his. It was borrowed.  The disciples promised to return it when he was done.

Jesus chose to ride what was new and unpredictable as opposed to what was safe and trusted.  He was announcing a new kingdom that had promise.  The people were excited!

John 12:13 (ERV) says that they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus.  They shouted, "'Praise Him!'  'Welcome!  God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!'  God bless the King of Israel!"

John 12:13 (KJV) says that they took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, "Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord."

The word hosanna comes from a Hebrew word meaning “save now” or “save us, we pray.” The first Hebrew word of Psalm 118:25 is howosiah-na, translated “Save us!” and the crowd's use of this word at Jesus triumphal entry to Jerusalem was significant.  "Praise Him! Welcome!" simplifies the meaning for those of us who don't understand the full meaning of Hosanna but may cause us to miss its Jewish significance.

Psalms 118:24-26 (KJV) says, "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.  Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

Tommy and Eddie of Skit Guys discuss Palm Sunday in the video below.
YouTube children's story,  "The Donkey That No One Could Ride" by Anthony DeStefano