The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' The King of Israel!" (John 12:12-13)
Did you know there is only one reference in the Gospels about the palm tree branches that people took to meet Jesus when He came into Jerusalem in what we call the Triumphal Entry? Only John shares that detail and Christians historically have referenced this day as Palm Sunday.
Waving palms was a mark of triumphant homage to a victor or a king (Rev 7:9). Palm trees grew on the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:8) on the road from Bethany to Jerusalem so the trees were naturally accessible for this wonderful moment when Jesus was openly presenting Himself as the Messiah, the King of Israel.
Palm Sunday commences what has been called Passion Week in the Christian church. This was the last week of our Lord’s life which included His final teaching, the Last Supper with His disciples, His agony, betrayal, and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, His unjust trials and beatings before the Jewish and Gentile authorities, His crucifixion on what we call Good Friday, and then His glorious resurrection on Easter morning. What a special season to worship the Lord and to think about all He’s done for us.
But to tell you the truth, I’ve been thinking about that word palm. Just a few days after Palm Sunday were the painful passion and brutal beatings of our Lord. And during this time there is another reference to the word palm but it’s not the palm of a palm tree but the palm of a cruel hand: (Mat 26:67) Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands.
Then I think of our Lord’s crucifixion where they drove nails into His palms: (John 20:25) . . . he (Thomas) said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, . . . I will not believe."
Will the Lord always keep His scars for us? Perhaps so, to remind us of His great love on the cross. The scars were there in His resurrection body and it says in Revelation 13:8 that Jesus is spoken of as ". . . the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
Palm Sunday . . . nail-scarred hands. Beautiful hands. The hands of my Savior who died for me. Now I look at my palms and what will I do? (Psa 63:4) Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. Thank-you Jesus! I will praise you and love you forever!!