Palm Sunday is upon us, and churches around the world will be enacting the drama of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Is this a Biblical tradition? Absolutely.
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. -Matthew 21:8 (NIV)
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ -John 12:13 (ESV)
In many churches, congregants hold palms to recall and bring to life this moment. Often, palms are folded into crosses which can be held or pinned to clothing. Another pointless tradition? Hardly.
One of the most shocking aspects of Jesus’ passion (his arrest, trial, and death) is how quickly it followed the celebration of his arrival. The same crowds that waved palms and shouted “Hosanna” were the crowds that shouted “Crucify him!” a few days later.
By folding the palms into crosses, we underscore this drastic reversal, and the fickle human nature which brought it about. We recall how quickly triumph gave way to shame and suffering.
This is a powerful way to enter Holy Week, and if you have never made a palm cross, here is our video to show you how! This is a high definition, easy to see, and easy to follow tutorial featuring our own Charlotte Greeson.
Enjoy and share!