By Dawn Reed
Palm Sunday was never a big deal to me. Decades came and went without even a thought. I guess I was just busy getting ready for Easter. (That makes no sense now.) In reality, the importance of the day did not sink in until we started putting palm branches down on the floor of the sanctuary at church.
My sister had visited a church in Northern KY who did it and told my mom. My mom told us and we set about finding palm branches. It has been a tradition for many years now and really helps us remember.
At first, everyone tried to step around the greenery. Were they supposed to walk right on them? The kids thought it was cool! Why were branches on the floor?! They tried to crunch them as much as they could.
I had known the story, but to me it was just the week before Easter. I’m sure our kids had made palm branch crafts when they were small. Now that I’m older, I understand and pay attention to it.
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Resurrection Day. It was the beginning of the end. Jesus entered Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey. It was like a parade! People crowded the streets cheering for Him. They covered the ground with their clothes and palm branches like a red carpet. “Hosanna! Hosanna!” they yelled. “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” (“Hosanna” means “save us”.) For that one moment Jesus heard good words He deserved.
But it would quickly change. And Jesus knew it. Yes, they were cheering Him on today, but it would be short-lived. In just a few days, these same well-wishers would be yelling, screaming for His brutal death. They would become obsessed with killing Him.
He had done them no wrong. He had only fed them and healed them. Jesus rode on.
There would be much to tell His disciples this last week; many more lessons for them to learn. They would have their last meal together when He would teach them about serving others. He would use the bread and fruit of the vine as symbols of His sacrifice. (They still had trouble understanding.)
He knew what was coming…the arrest, the mocking, the beating, the crown of thorns, the flogging with the cat-of-nine-tails. Finally, there would be the cross.
It would be a very hard week. Jesus rode on. His first stop was the temple. He had some cleaning to do.