The beginning of something new
Jesus entered Jerusalem, and of all things on the back of a donkey. For many of those who witnessed this it was outrageous. After all, the people had been expecting the Messiah, who had been announced as a king. And now this!? By the end of the week, Jesus Christ will have been killed.
Passion Week is a very eventful week in the church calendar: the Lord’s Supper, the foot washing ceremony, the Lord’s betrayal and arrest, a public show trial, torture, crucifixion, and the resurrection on the third day. Anyone who wants to experience Christian teaching with all their senses will get their money’s worth in the coming days.
The arrival of the King of Peace
It all began on Palm Sunday, which takes its name from the fact that the people cut branches from the palm trees to spread them on the road in front of Jesus. There was excitement and cheering. The Roman occupying forces were to know that the promised King would bring the victory. But this king did not come with an army and weapons, but on a donkey—and in peace, without declaring war.
What does it mean to us?
What does Palm Sunday mean to Christians today? Here are several statements.
Björn (35) from Germany: “Palm Sunday is the day of false expectations and misunderstandings. At the same time, it is a day of humbleness with a direct view of Good Friday and Easter.”
Karin from Brazil: “Palm Sunday is an important day for Christians: they are reminded of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In our New Apostolic congregations in Brazil this is not any different. The choir sings Palm Sunday hymns and we decorate the altar with palm fronds and flowers.”
Adam (33) from the USA: “Palm Sunday is the opening moment of the week, where the passion of Christ brings us to the victorious celebration of Easter. It is significant because it initiates the final acts of Jesus’ life on earth, which are for our redemption.”
Brent (36) from South Africa: “Palm Sunday is accepting Jesus and recognising Christ as our eternal King. Jesus was praised and worshipped as a natural saviour and king, with the people having natural expectations.”
Eko (47) from Indonesia: “I still remember how vividly our Sunday School teacher told us about the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem, how He rode on a donkey and the people spread their clothes on the road before Him. Years later I myself told the children in Sunday School about this memorable event. Unbelievable!”
Immanuel (51) from India: “Palm Sunday is the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Today it is a reminder to us to not equate Jesus with an earthly authority. Also a clear message goes out from Jesus’ entering into the temple: it is a place of worship and nothing else.”
Indira (40) from India: “We read in the Bible that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey in a huge procession. Likewise, our congregations in Hyderabad get together with drums and music, and celebrate prior to the divine service. We bring palm leaves for the procession which double up as altar decoration for this special divine service.”
Dario (37) from Argentina: “Jesus wants to move into my heart.”
Geoff (68) from Australia: “Palm Sunday reminds me of the joy expressed at the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, but also His subsequent betrayal and rejection.”
Lauren (35) from Australia: “Although Jesus was celebrated as a King when He rode into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday is a reminder that the reign of Christ is far greater than that of earthly rulers due to the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made.”
Gunnar (55) from Germany: “Palm Sunday is the beginning of the most difficult path every walked by a human. We also call it the Way of the Cross. Nobody has to repeat it, because Jesus Christ was able to say at the end of this way: ‘It is finished!’ The sacrifice for the world.”