What is the Deal With the Palm Branches?
This Sunday the Christian Church in much of the Western Hemisphere will celebrate Palm Sunday. You might be wondering why in the world it’s called “Palm Sunday?” You might also be wondering why in the world palm branches are used in the worship service. Wisconsin doesn’t exactly have a great deal of palm branches.
The answer to this question is found in the Bible story which goes along with Palm Sunday. Starting this Sunday through the following Easter Sunday are the eight holiest days in the Christian Faith. During this Holy Week we first remember on Palm Sunday the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem.
Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey and it turned into a parade of sorts. Children began grabbing palm branches from nearby trees and foliage and they laid them down on the path as they chanted "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!" (Luke 19:38)
Others took off their cloaks and laid them down in the path of Jesus as they welcomed Jesus into the capital city. After three years of an incredible ministry these people knew how special Jesus was and they welcomed him like the royalty he truly is.
To answer the question, they used palm branches because that was what was handy for them to use. So we reenact this scene every year as we remember how Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing full well the danger he was walking into. He wanted to worship the holy Passover feast in Jerusalem while also fulfilling his calling as the savior of the Israelites and for all people.
So that is the deal with the palm branches. They celebrate Jesus as the blessed king who comes in the name of the Lord!