What is Palm Sunday? - Bible Story and Meaning Today
Palm Sunday in the Bible
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King - The Triumphal Entry
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once." This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'" 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee." - Matthew 21:1-11
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Palm Sunday: History and Meaning
Palm Sunday began in the Jerusalem Church approximately the late third century. Observances consisted of hymns, prayers, and Bible readings as people traveled through the many holy places within the city. At the final place, the site of Jesus’ ascent into heaven, the ministry would recite the biblical passage of Jesus’ victorious entrance into Jerusalem. Then as dusk neared, the people would return to the city declaring: “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9).
This tradition continued until the sixth and seventh centuries when the ceremonial blessing of the palms was included. By the eighth century, a morning procession substituted the evening one and the Western Church was celebrating what we now know as “Palm Sunday.”
Meaning of Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that begins the Holy Week. It is the day that we remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered Jerusalem as Savior and King. As Jesus rode a donkey into the town of Jerusalem a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches and their cloaks across the road, giving Jesus royal treatment. The hundreds of people shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
Debbie McDaniel wrote about the significance of Palm Sunday,
"On the heels of Palm Sunday, as we begin this Holy Week, may we constantly be reminded of its significance and value for our lives today. That very important day in history, when Jesus began His journey towards the cross.
Yet maybe in the midst of busy lives, on the heels of Spring Break, or in all of the upcoming thoughts about Easter, the real meaning of it may, even unintentionally, get missed.
His Word reveals such great truths in every part of this story. Truths that draw us closer towards Christ, reminding us that He alone is King."
Palm Sunday in 2020
This year, Palm Sunday will be on April 5, 2020. This begins Holy Week which leads up to Easter on April 12, 2020.
Find more about the dates and meaning of Holy Week: When Is Holy Week in 2020? Holiday Dates for Easter and More
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