Palm Sunday Children’s teaching-Melissa Wilson 3/09
“They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel” John 12:13
In order to understand the significance of Palm Sunday, it helps to understand a little more of where it comes from in scripture. As Jesus was entering jerusalm, on the donkey, the people began gathering and shouting “Hosannah! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”as they waved Palm branches and laid their cloaks down at His feet. The word Hosannah comes from the Hebrew word “Hoshiya na,” meaning “Save, PLEASE!” It was a desperate cry for help, as if someone is drowning. Eventually this became a cry of hope and exaltation declaring, “Salvation has come!!”
The Palm branches had many symbolic meanings for the Ancient Jewish people. Palms provided shelter, shade, even food. They were a symbol of nobility, honor, and beauty. Palms were waved in celebration of deliverance and victory over the enemies. Jericho, which was the first city that the children of Israel captured in entering the Promised Land, was known in the Bible as “the city of palm trees” (Deut. 34:3; 2 Chron. 28:15) Palm trees became a symbol for the land promised, blessings on the land, His provision, and the kingship of Him in the Promised Land.
Those very people who were shouting “Hosannah!” did not know that same week, Jesus truly would die on the cross. And exactly one week later He would rise from the grave in complete victory. Today, we know the depths of His sacrifice. We have even greater reason to rejoice and celebrate. To shout, wave our flags (modern day palms), dance, and proclaim, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord!”
But there is one more reference to Palms being used in procession by Believers. In Revelation 7:9, Paul shares the vision God gave to him about heaven. “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"