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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Christians mark Palm Sunday Today


Christians the world over today mark the feast of the Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter.

The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. 

In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes place about a week before his Resurrection. 

The symbolism is captured in Zechariah 9:9 “The Coming of Zion’s King – See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey”. It was perceived that Jesus was declaring he was the King of Israel to the anger of the Sanhedrin. 

According to the Gospels, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there laid down their cloaks in front of him, and also laid down small branches of trees. 

The people sang part of Psalm 118:25-26 “…Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord ….” The symbolism of the donkey may refer to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. 

A king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem would thus symbolize his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king. 

In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday includes a procession of the assembled worshipers carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. 

The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including box, yew, willow, and olive. 

The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday.

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