What is Palm Sunday? - Bible Story and Meaning Today

Christianity.com Editorial Staff
What is Palm Sunday? - Bible Story and Meaning Today

Palm Sunday is the Christian celebration of Jesus' triumphant arrival to Jerusalem. Jesus entered the city knowing He would be tried and crucified yet received His fate to rise from the grave and save us from sin! Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the remembrance of Jesus' last days to the cross. 

Let us praise God for sending His Son to earth, the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins, and our eternal life in Christ through faith.

Read the full Bible passage of Jesus' entry to Jerusalem and learn about the history, tradition, and modern rituals of Palm Sunday.

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 Palm Sunday in the Bible

 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

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Palm Sunday: History and Meaning

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."

Read more: 5 Things about Palm Sunday That Remind Us Christ 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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Originally published February 05, 2020.