Saturday, March 9, 2013

Palm Sunday

Holy Week
During the first several centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus Christians remembered both the death and resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.  Gradually the time that was taken to honor the passion of Christ grew to be one week long and became known as Holy Week.  Holy Week begins with the celebration of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on what is now called Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday is a church label and cannot be found in the Bible.  Rather, the Bible refers to this event as “The Triumphal Entry.”

The story of “The Triumphal Entry” is recorded in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19.  In Mark 11:8-10 we read, “Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, ‘Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!  Hosanna in the highest!’”

Today many churches celebrate Palm Sunday by distributing palm branches to worshippers and perhaps having a processional re-enacting Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.