Growing up Episcopalian, my favorite time of year was the holy season leading up to Easter.
Starting with Ash Wednesday, believers use this day to begin Lent (the time of repentance and fasting for the 40 days leading up to Easter).
Next came Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and culminating with Easter, the day Jesus rose from the dead.
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter where believers in Jesus as Messiah celebrated His triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
As a little girl, Palm Sunday was my favorite because our priest had us all lined up in the hallway of our church with palm branches in hand and instructions to cheer and wave them as frantically as possible.
I took these instructions very seriously.
Imagine if you will, a round faced Jill, complete with a fresh big curl perm, a new dress no doubt my mom made, who was just given permission to act a fool…in church.
I rocked those palms like it was my job.
I do not think it is coincidence that the palms were chosen.
Yes the significance of the branches of a palm tree mean “goodness” and “victory.”
But Jump In to this with me:
Read the Triumphant Entry, an account you, just like me have just breezed through in Luke 19:29-31 and Matthew 21:9.
The people there are more than likely going against their cultural beliefs and are trusting a man who says He is the coming Messiah. They are waving palms in full surrender to what their mind has been taught their whole lives. They threw all sense out the window and said, “You know, I have NO IDEA why, but I believe. I have NO IDEA why, but I trust. I have NO IDEA why, but I surrender.”
Jesus, on the other hand, who is on the other side of this celebration, is the Grand Marshall in a parade to His death. Here these people are, waving palm fronds in celebration to Him.
A carpenter’s son from Jerusalem.
Jesus is living palms up as well.
Was it easy?
No way. See Matthew 26:38.
As His palms are turned up in surrender to the will of His Father, these people are throwing palms down because they believed in His holiness.
Jesus had to surrender.
He had to trust.
He had to choose to believe that God was who He said He was.
You see, Jesus doesn’t ask us to do ANYTHING He hasn’t already done.
Those people didn’t know that this party was leading to a crucifixion and that His death would lead to a resurrection.
The real cause to celebrate.
People were crucified everyday in biblical times.
The way Jesus died was nothing spectacular really.
But it’s what He did on the other side that was so amazing.
And it’s what He wants to do in YOUR life, when you surrender all control and trust to Him, that’s going to be even MORE amazing.
I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.