And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. (Mark 11:8)
Read Mark 11:1-10
Where I grew up, we had palm trees everywhere. There were palms at the beach, palms used as street trees, palm thickets so deep you could lose yourself playing hide and seek. There were even palms trying to grow up through the sidewalk cracks!
Palms grew abundantly in Judea as well, where they were a symbol for victory, glory, and kingship. When the crowds saw Jesus coming, riding humbly on a donkey, they cut palm fronds to strew before Him on the road. The symbolism was clear: "Here is our victorious King, the Messiah, the Son of David."
And they were right. Jesus was their King -- though His crown would be of thorns, and His throne a cross. He was victorious -- though not over the Roman invaders, as many expected. Instead, He came to conquer sin, death, and the devil -- the enemies of the whole human race. No one and nothing would stop Him.
And by His suffering, death, and resurrection, our King did win the victory for Himself and for all who believe in Him. That is why we, too, will stand before Him with palm branches in our hands on the Last Day, rejoicing and calling out, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:10b).
THE PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to rejoice in Your victory over death and evil. Amen.
Have you ever seen a palm tree with your own eyes? When and where? What was it like?
What other symbols of victory can you think of? Would any of them be appropriate for Jesus?
Waving palm branches was a way of honoring Jesus. How will you honor Jesus in your life today?
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