Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

Palm Sunday 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.



April 2020

Hope for hard times

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:13) | Read more about Hope for hard times at hopereflected.com

Hope for hard times is not far away

We find ourselves in uncertain times; we cannot turn on the TV without seeing something about COVID-19; we cannot listen to the radio without hearing the same. Many of us – if only all of us – have been staying home, physically isolating ourselves from others. We are unable to gather together – at least physically – as a body of believers to worship the Lord.

We need to remind ourselves that we are not without hope. We believe in the Sovereignty of God, and this is the very time we need to let Christ’s light shine! Matthew Henry once said that God “will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him… Why do not we trust Christ to govern the world which he redeemed?”

Hosanna! Our Greatest Hope

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day we rejoice in the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem. A great multitude gathered before and behind, and they rejoiced! “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” Hosanna! The Hebrew word, “hoshi’a na,” is translated “hosanna”. Throughout Scripture this word is used in several ways: “Please, save us!” a plea for help to our Lord. “Salvation, thank you!” a declaration of salvation and thanks to our Lord. Whether or not we are able to meet together physically on Palm Sunday is beside the point; this period in time, though scary, should not overshadow the actual reason for time.

We have the greatest Hope within us. The God of hope is on our side, and He not only longs to give us all joy and peace, He also wants us to abound in hope through His power (Romans 15:13). Let us not lose heart, rather let us shift our gaze up from the troubles in front of us to look “for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13).

Our Blessed Hope for Hard Times

We not only have a blessed hope, we have a living hope! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1:3). This is not a time for us to be wearied by world events; this is a time for us to let the light that is in us shine! In both calm and stormy seas, our hope in Christ is the “anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,” (Hebrews 6:19). Is that what others see when they see us?

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose,” C.S. Lewis wrote. Seasons may change our circumstances, but we will do well to remember that, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) In Him we have peace, because He lives in us. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Originally published as “Hope for hard times.” Independent Plus. April 2, 2020: 6. Print. Web.