The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!”
Palms are Lenten symbols of victory and martyrdom. We see them in worship each Palm Sunday as we begin Holy Week as we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. However, we know these symbols also reflect the events that are to come in the week ahead. Those palm branches are typically burned to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday in the following year. The ashes are used as symbols to help us reflect on our mortality and need for forgiveness.
Holy God, it is too easy to go from shouts of “Hosanna!” to “Crucify Him!”. Strengthen us to be faithful to You. May we seek to follow Your ways in all that we say and do. Embolden us to truly read and live Your Word so that we may be Your Easter people proclaiming the resurrected Lord in our interactions today. Amen.