Jesus' Victorious Entry into Jerusalem -Palm Sunday
By: Elias Bejjani*
(Psalm118/26): "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh!
We have blessed You out of the house of Yahweh".
On the seventh Lantern Sunday, known as the "Palm Sunday", our Maronite Catholic Church celebrates the Triumphal Entry of
Jesus into Jerusalem.
The joyful and faithful people of this Holy City
and their children welcomed Jesus with innocent spontaneity and declared Him a
King. Through His glorious and modest entry the essence of His Godly royalty
that we share with Him in baptism and anointing of Chrism was revealed. Jesus'
Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem,
the "Palm Sunday", marks the Seventh Lantern Sunday, the last one
before Easter Day, (The Resurrection).
During the past six Lantern weeks, we the believers are ought to have renewed
and rekindled our faith and reverence through genuine fasting, contemplation,
penance, prayers, repentance and acts of charity. By now we are expected to
have fully understood the core of love, freedom, and justice that enables us to
enter into a renewed world of worship that encompasses the family, the
congregation, the community and the nation.
Jesus entered Jerusalem
for the last time to participate in the Jewish Passover Holiday. He was fully
aware that the day of His suffering and death was approaching and unlike all
times, He did not stop the people from declaring Him a king and accepted to
enter the city while they were happily chanting : "Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”.(John 12/13). Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to
Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he
replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry
out." (Luke 19/39-40). Jesus entered Jerusalem
to willingly sacrifice Himself, die on the cross, redeem us and absolve our
On the Palm Sunday we take our children and grandchildren to celebrate the mass
and the special procession while happily they are carrying candles decorated
with lilies and roses. Men and women hold palm fronds with olive branches, and
actively participate in the Palm Procession with modesty, love and joy crying
out loudly: "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who
comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
On the Palm Sunday through the procession, prayers, and mass we renew our
confidence and trust in Jesus. We beg Him for peace and commit ourselves to
always tame all kinds of evil hostilities, forgive others and act as peace and
love advocates and defend man's dignity and his basic human rights.
"Ephesians 2:14": "For Christ Himself
has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles
into one people when, in His own body on the cross, He broke down the wall of
hostility that separated us"
The Triumphal Entry of Jesus' story into Jerusalem
appears in all four Gospel accounts (Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke
19:29-40; John 12:12-19). The four accounts shows
clearly that the Triumphal Entry was a significant event, not only to the
people of Jesus’ day, but to Christians throughout history.
The Triumphal Entry as it appeared in Saint
John's Gospel, (12/12-19), as follows
: "On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When
they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
they took the branches of the 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!” Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written,
“Don’t be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey’s colt. ”His disciples didn’t
understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about
Him, and that they had done these things to Him. The multitude therefore that
was with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the
dead, was testifying about it. For this cause also the multitude went and met
Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. The Pharisees therefore
said among themselves, “See how you accomplish
nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him.” Now there were certain Greeks
among those that went up to worship at the feast. These, therefore, came to
Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we want
to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn, Andrew came with
Philip, and they told Jesus."
The multitude welcomed Jesus, His disciples and followers while chanting:
"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of
Israel!”.(John 12/13). His entry was so humble, meek
simple and spontaneous. He did not ride in a chariot pulled by horses as
earthly kings and conquerors do, He did not have armed guards, nor officials escorting him. He did not come to Jerusalem to fight, rule, judge or settle scores with any one, but to offer Himself a
sacrifice for our salvation.
Before entering Jerusalem, He stopped in the
city of Bethany,
where Lazarus (whom he raised from the tomb) with his two sisters Mary and
Martha lived. In Hebrew Bethany
means "The House of the Poor". His stop in Bethany
before reaching Jerusalem
was a sign of both His acceptance of poverty and His readiness to offer Himself
as a sacrifice. He is the One who accepted poverty for our own benefit and came
to live in poverty with the poor and escort them to heaven, the Kingdom of His Father.
After His short Stop in Bethany, Jesus entered Jerusalem to fulfill all
the prophecies, purposes and the work of the Lord since the dawn of history. All
the scripture accounts were fulfilled and completed with his suffering,
torture, crucifixion, death and resurrection. On the Cross, He cried with a
loud voice: “It is finished.” He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.(John19/30)
The multitude welcomed Jesus when He entered Jerusalem so one of the Old Testament
prophecies would be fulfilled. (Zechariah 9:9-10): "Rejoice greatly,
Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a
donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from
Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His
rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the
The crowd welcomed Jesus for different reasons and numerous expectations. There
were those who came to listen to His message and believed in Him, while others
sought a miraculous cure for their ailments and they got what they came for,
but many others envisaged in Him a mortal King that could liberate their
and free them from the yoke of the Roman occupation. Those were disappointed
when Jesus told them: "My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom" (John
Christ came to Jerusalem
to die on its soil and fulfill the scriptures. It was His choice where to die
in Jerusalem as He has said previously: "should not be a prophet perish
outside of Jerusalem" (Luke 13/33): "Nevertheless, I must go on my
way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet
should perish away from Jerusalem".
He has also warned Jerusalem because in it all
the prophets were killed: (Luke 13:34-35): "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets
and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children
together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not
have it! "behold, your house is left to you
desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you
say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord".
Explanation of the Palm Sunday Procession Symbols
The crowd chanted, "Hosanna to the Son of David" "Blessed is
he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
(Matthew 21/09), because Jesus was is a descendant of
David. Hosanna in the highest is originated in the Psalm 118/25: "Please,
LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success". It is a call
for help and salvation as also meant by the Psalm 26/11: "But I lead a blameless
life; redeem me and be merciful to me". Hosanna also means: God
enlightened us and will never abandon us, Jesus' is a salvation for the
Spreading cloth and trees' branches in front of Jesus to walk on them was an
Old Testament tradition that refers to love, obedience, submission, triumph and
loyalty. (2 Kings 09/13): "They hurried and took their cloaks and spread
them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted,
"Jehu is king!". In the old days Spreading
garments before a dignitary was a symbol of submission.
Zion is a hill in Jerusalem,
and the "Daughter of Zion" is Jerusalem.
The term is synonymous with "paradise" and the sky in its religious
Carrying palm and olive branches and waving with them expresses joy, peace,
longing for eternity and triumph. Palm branches are a sign of victory and
praise, while Olive branches are a token of joy, peace and durability. The Lord
was coming to Jerusalem
to conquer death by death and secure eternity for the faithful. It is worth
mentioning that the olive tree is a symbol for peace and its oil a means of
holiness immortality with which Kings, Saints, children and the sick were
The name "King of Israel," symbolizes the kingship of the Jews who
were waiting for Jehovah to liberate them from the Roman occupation.
O, Lord Jesus, strengthen our faith to feel closer to You and to Your mercy
when in trouble;
O, Lord Jesus, empower us with the grace of patience and meekness to endure
persecution, humiliation and rejection and always be Your followers.
O, Lord Let Your eternal peace and gracious love prevail all over the world.
A joyous Palm Sunday to all
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political
Web sites http://www.10452lccc.com & http://www.clhrf.com
Mailing phoenicia group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Phoenicia/.
Face Book address https://www.facebook.com/elias.y.bejjani
Tweeter address https://twitter.com/phoeniciaelias
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 12,12-22.
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!’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: ‘Do not be
afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’His
disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was
glorified, then they remembered that these things had
been written of him and had been done to him. So the crowd that had been with
him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead
continued to testify. It was also because they heard that he had performed this
sign that the crowd went to meet him. The Pharisees then said to one another,
‘You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him! ’ Now among
those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to
Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’
Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Letter to the Philippians 1,1-13.
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and
peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time
I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all
of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.
I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work
among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right
for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart,
for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the
defence and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the
compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may
overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine
what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless,
having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God. I want you to know, beloved, that what has
happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, so that it has become
known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my
imprisonment is for Christ