In the Christian calendar, the Sunday before Easter weekend is known as Palm Sunday. Of this day the bible tells us of Jesus riding into Jerusalem, no doubt deeply mindful of what the week would hold. He was greeted by adoring crowds who lay palm leaves on the floor for him to pass over. The week did not remain quite so peaceful.
In our day, Palm Sunday is the start of a week of reflection for many Christians. The week is referred to as Holy Week or in some faiths “The Passion” meaning the short final period in the life of Jesus Christ. (Passion from the Latin verb patior, passus sum; “to suffer, bear, endure”)
A Palm Sunday message from Russel M. Nelson
To you and I riding a donkey may seem to be quite a poor form of transport, but there is deep symbolism in Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a Colt. In ancient times dignitaries would ride donkeys in civil processions, and horses in military ones. A king arriving on a donkey would indicate that the person was on a peaceful mission, not one bent on military conquest. So you can see the donkey was perfect for one known as the “Prince of Peace.”
Jesus himself instigated the use of the animal by sending 2 disciples to collect it…
“And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.“Mark 11:1-2
Thus fulfilling the old testament prophecy of what the Messiah would do.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”Zechariah 9:9
On Palm Sunday, Jesus Christ rides triumphantly into Jerusalem as His followers draw near Him to lay down cloaks and palm fronds in His path. They surround Jesus with love and praise. In return, they no doubt receive the profound spiritual lift that comes from being in Jesus’s presence. The people in the crowd probably had life experiences just as varied as ours, but all were able to share equally in the joy that comes when we draw closer to Jesus Christ.Easter Day-by-Day #BecauseOfHim
A traditional event for many Christian churches is the distribution of small palm crosses to remind the receiver of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the upcoming events of the week. Although members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will take time to ponder the events, we do not use the cross as a symbol in our chapels, temples, or on our scriptures or in jewellery.
President Gordon B. Hinckley explained the reason in a talk delivered in a general conference. He told about talking to a Protestant minister following a temple open house. The minister had asked why there were no crosses anywhere if we say we believe in Jesus Christ. President Hinckley answered,
‘I do not wish to give offense to any of my Christian brethren who use the cross on the steeples of their cathedrals and at the altars of their chapels, who wear it on their vestments, and imprint it on their books and other literature. But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ.’ “He then asked, ‘If you do not use the cross, what is the symbol of your religion?’ “I replied that the lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship”(Gordon B. Hinckley “The Symbol of Christ,” New Era, Apr. 1990, p. 4).
There are thoughts from my own ponderings and study for the days running up to Easter Sunday listed below. My intention is not to cover every point of doctrine, hopefully just give some pause for thought. I have also picked out a video to help focus on the life of Jesus Christ. Today is a simple version of a church primary song “I’m trying to be like Jesus” I love how the song slowly captures the attention of the diners.
If you would like to delve a little deeper into Palm Sunday my good friend James D. Holt (Associate Professor of Religious Education) shared these thoughts with me, enjoy! Palm Sunday
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