Palm Sunday is one of several “holidays”, or more correctly holy days that Christians “celebrate”, or observe, in the weeks before Easter called Lent. Palm Sunday comes from an event recorded in the Bible books of Mark, Luke, and John.
The prophet Zechariah had said
“Announce to the people
‘Your king is coming to you!
He is humble
and rides on a donkey.
He comes on the colt
of a donkey.’ ”
The disciples left and did what Jesus had told them to do. They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on.
The next day a large crowd was in Jerusalem for Passover. When they heard that Jesus was coming for the festival, they took palm branches and went out to greet him. They shouted,
Hooray for the Son of David!
God bless the one who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Hooray for God
in heaven above!”
(Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-38; John 12.12-19)
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
© 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
Lent starts with the well known Fat Tuesday-Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday.
Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, related in the story above. At my church on Palm Sunday, the preschool age children march into the auditorium waving palm branches and sing a song for us. The parents and grandparents sit up front, proudly taking pictures and video. It’s a day to celebrate before we observe the solemn sad days of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
a second day to wave palm branches
It may not have been a Sunday, but I recently discovered another time when palm branches are used to honor Jesus. But unlike the first Palm Sunday, it celebrates a much happier occasion. It’s in the book of Revelation.
After this, I saw a large crowd with more people than could be counted. They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands, as they shouted,
Our God, who sits
upon the throne,
has the power
to save his people,
and so does the Lamb.
Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom,
thanks, honor, power,
and strength belong to our God
forever and ever! Amen!”Revelation 7:9-12, CEV
sharing faith, hope, and love
The first Palm day was a prelude to unexpected pain and suffering. Most of us did not anticipate the pain and suffering this pandemic would bring. But the second Palm day was a celebration because their pain and suffering was over. And I believe some day we will look back on these difficult days and celebrate health and wholeness again.
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