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Palm Sunday in Holy Week: The Entrance to the Resurrection

Palm Sunday in Holy Week

Palm Sunday in Holy Week: The Entrance to the Resurrection

Holy Week in Quarantine:

Today marks the beginning of Holy Week, which goes from Palm Sunday to Easter, a time for us to reflect and rejoice in all that Jesus did for us. So as we begin to commemorate this special week, let us take some time to fully dig into God’s Word and let us celebrate each day of Holy Week together.

Palm Sunday in Holy Week: The Entrance to the Resurrection

Let’s start off by diving into our Scripture for the day:

Matthew 21

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,

    ‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Envisioning the Story:

What a powerful event that must have been!

Take a second to really see and imagine what was going on here:

Picture the rejoicing, singing, shouting and dancing.

The amazement that was in everyone’s eyes as they saw the Hosanna.

The tears that must have been flowing down their faces as they saw their king.

Imagine the streets with the sounds of roaring praises, covered with the crowd’s cloaks and with beautiful green palm branches spread out.

It must have been quite a sight to see.

Palm Sunday in Holy Week: The Entrance to the Resurrection

The Palm in Palm Sunday:

So here we have this breathtaking scene of Jesus entering into Jerusalem. He was fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, which states

“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!

    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you,

    righteous and victorious,

lowly and riding on a donkey,

    on a colt, the foal of a donkey”.

So now as Jesus enters Jerusalem, we mark the beginning of Holy Week. We need to  prepare our hearts as we walk with Jesus day by day this week until His resurrection on Sunday.

So what can we do today to prepare our hearts?

Well…just as all those people rejoiced when they saw Jesus, let us do the same today!

But how did they rejoice? Well one of the ways they rejoiced was by laying palm branches down before him.

You might be thinking, how can I do that here at home?

Well, hang tight and let’s look into the symbolism behind the palm branch and just how important it was to be used as Jesus rode into Jerusalem.

The Mighty Palm Branch:

Now do me a favor and take a second and picture a palm tree.

What characteristics does it have?

Well it’s tall…

Quite sturdy…

Strong…

It is a remarkable tree that is exceptionally beautiful, especially the way it sways in the wind and how bright green it’s branches are.

The palm tree didn’t just have amazing qualities but it also was a symbol to the people of that day. It was a symbol of victory.

Palm Trees in the Word:

In multiple verses, we see the importance of the palm tree. In Psalm 92:12-15, the text states that “12 the righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

In Leviticus, palm branches were used for the Feast of the Tabernacles (where the Israelites celebrated all that God had done for them). In Leviticus 23:29, it says that “on the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.”

From the text and our own understanding of the palm tree, it is no wonder the palm branches were laid before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.

Application:

I want you to take a moment to write down a list of things you absolutely love about Jesus. You can even draw your own palm branches on a piece of paper and on each branch write a characteristic of God. Then put them somewhere in your home where you can see them all week.

For those with kiddos like me, you can color your palm branches and use this activity to spend time thinking as a family about all the things you love about God (see my picture below for what we did). Use this activity as a symbol of our own palm branches that we can lay before Jesus as we rejoice in who He is and what He has done for us!

Also, take some time in prayer today, thank God for what He has done and is doing in our lives as we prepare our hearts this week for Jesus’ crucifixion on Friday and for His resurrection on Sunday. ❤️

Blessings,

Sam (Coffee and Bread Team)

My family’s palm branches with words that describe Jesus. We hung them on our coffee cup rack where we could see it everyday. 👇🏼
Palm Sunday Activity