Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

Lent Archive



April 2023

What is Palm Sunday?

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

What is Palm Sunday? Read more about the history on hopereflected.com

Traditionally, on the sixth Sunday of Lent (the week before Easter Sunday), Christians the world over celebrate Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday is the celebration and remembrance of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem is so significant that it is accounted for in each of the four Gospels: Matthew 21, Mark 21, Luke 19, and John 12. The feast of Passover sets the scene prefacing the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, where many were seeking after Christ, asking among themselves, “Do you think Jesus will come to Passover?” (John 11:56).

This simple question serves as a great reminder that if you seek after Christ, you will find Him, or rather, He will find you. As Matthew Henry wrote, “None that seek Christ seek in vain.” As the Jews were looking for a Messiah, so many people today are looking for a Savior, someone to rescue them from destruction, to redeem a life they think they’ve ruined, to liberate them from bondage. God Himself said it in Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

The Jews heard that Jesus was coming to Passover, and so they prepared, as anyone would when they’re anticipating the arrival of an honourable guest. Part of their preparations included spreading their clothing for Him to ride over and spreading palm branches before Him as in the feast of tabernacles.

What does any of this have to do with us today?

So much. Amidst messages of doom and gloom and fighting and war, rather than being hopeless, we should be the most hope-filled! I’ve written before that there is no detail so small that it is not of utmost importance if it’s included in Scripture. In the account of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem in John 12, verse 13 describes that the people took “branches of palm trees”. Of all the trees that are native to Jerusalem—pine, cyprus, olive, acacia—why did the people grab hold of palm branches to spread before our Lord? Because Victory Himself had arrived!

A symbol of Victory

Throughout history, palm branches have been symbolic of victory and triumph. It was Cicero who coined the term plurimarum palmarum homo (a man of many palms) to describe a winner. And here in John 12, as Christ entered Jerusalem, preparing for His death and resurrection, this symbol of palm leaves points to His ultimate victory over any and all other principalities and powers.

John 12 is not the first time that we read about palm branches in the Bible. Consider the feast of tabernacles described in Leviticus 23 and Nehemiah 8. These accounts specifically reference the use of palm branches as part of the ceremony and celebration. They tie together with Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem and remind us that all the feasts aforementioned in Scripture are directly linked to Christ’s Gospel.

As we celebrate Palm Sunday, we are once again reminded that the Victory is already won!
Christ has already conquered Satan and darkness, and He is coming again!

Hope Reflected

Now, as we celebrate Palm Sunday, we are once again reminded that the Victory is already won! Christ has already conquered Satan and darkness, and He is coming again! Let’s start living like we believe it!

Originally published as “What is Palm Sunday?” Independent Plus. March 30, 2023: 5. Print. Web.

Read more about the history of Lent and Easter here.



March 2022

Preparation for Easter: A Primer on Lent

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

What is Lent?

Lent represents the number 40 and means 40th day. Lent is taken from the Latin term quadragesima. Read more about Lent on hopereflected.com

I’m glad you asked. Lent is a season in the Christian liturgical calendar that remembers the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting. You can read more about Jesus being tested in the desert in the Gospels: Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4.

In present day, Lent is the 40 days (not including Sundays) that start Ash Wednesday through to the Saturday before Easter.

During Lent, participants will often fast, giving up specific foods (or alcohol) or activities that they would usually enjoy. You may be familiar with “Fat Tuesday” which is the feast or celebration (a time to indulge) right before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday.

Why is Lent celebrated or practiced?

Lent observes the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, where He was tempted of the devil and He fasted. Read more about Lent on hopereflected.com

Lent is a time of preparation and reflection leading up to Easter. Lent is practiced in an effort for Christians to get their hearts right and follow Christ’s example.

Who should participate?

While it is not limited to Catholics and Christians, usually those who believe in Jesus and follow Him participate in Lent.

During the 40 days (not including Sundays) leading up to Easter, we prepare our hearts by reflecting on Christ's example. Read more about Lent on hopereflected.com

How do you participate?

While there is no official sign up sheet, many churches make arrangements in the weeks leading up to Lent to help people prepare their hearts and minds for the Lent season.

Fasting and reflection help to focus our hearts on the greatest sacrifice, Christ's powerful and selfless gift of salvation, and His ultimate sovereignty. Read more on hopereflected.com

During Lent, people may choose to study specific parts of the Bible, read books or devotionals that help them to reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Questions about Lent? Drop your question in the Comments section below!

Looking for appropriate devotional materials leading up to Easter? Please read Hope Reflected’s Easter Reflections!