Sunday, March 20, 2016

52 Blessings - #Hallelujah it's Palm Sunday

Happy Palm Sunday.  It's a sweet day to remember the final time that Christ entered Jerusalem.

On that “triumphal entry” he rode a donkey signaling that He came in peace and humility, yet royally. His humble followers were people just like you and me, people who loved Him and had been served by Him.  To show their honor and love, they carpeted the road with palm fronds, flowering tree branches and some of their own clothes.  As he rode by they " . . . cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 21:9);

In Hebrew, "Hosanna” means "please save me." The people recognized that He was the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace.

Some have supposed that palm leaves* were used on “Palm Sunday” simply because they were plentiful, but as with many things of a biblical nature, there is deep symbolism in Jesus’ followers using the palm leaf. They symbolized:

1.  Great value and luxury. The palm branch was the emblem of Judea and was found on her coins, signifying that palms were one of the      country’s and people’s greatest riches.

2.  A gift from God. The palm had many uses in the people’s lives, so much so in fact that when countries went to war they attacked the      enemy’s palms to expedite their victory because:

     a. the date palm supplied dates.

     b. the coconut palm supplied coconut and coconut milk and the shells were made into bowls, utensils and tools.

     c. the sugar palm sap was dried and ground into sugar and it’s leaves were cooked and eaten like a vegetable.

     d. the trunk of the sago palm was ground into flour.

     e. the heavy fiber was used to make ropes, the coarse fiber was used to make brooms, mats and baskets, the fine fiber was made into         sewing thread.

     f. the palm oils were made into butter and soap.

     g. palm wood does not easily rot and was used for making boats.

     h. the palm seeds were boiled and made into medicinal drinks or were dried and eaten like nuts or used as beads.

     i. the yellowish-white palm flowers were made into perfume or worn as décor by the women.

In essence, through the symbolism of the palms, the people showed they were willing to offer their daily pursuits and time as well as their riches to honor Jesus.  

Palm Sunday is a good time to reflect on the honor, devotion, appreciation and love that we can show to the Savior like the people who laid the palm branches.  It's a good time to get rid of habits and attitudes that aren't reflective of how we really feel about Jesus Christ and adopt ones that are.  It's fitting that today is the first day of Spring, too, it's like we get a fresh start all the way around.

(*Information gathered from Dorothy D. Warner, “Palms for the Lord,” Liahona, Apr 1999, 10)


Ande said...

I'm sitting in the hall with Ezra at church and really enjoyed reading this and learning about the symbolism. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

Thank you for your insights. This is pretty awesome.