Summary: Why did people wave palm branches?

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“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of 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!’ Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, 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 were written about Him and [that] they had done these things to Him. Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, ‘You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!’” (John 12:12-19).


1. Why did people wave palm branches? They were considered symbols of peace and victory. “The people went forth and brought . . . palm branches” (Neh. 8:15). “Took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him” (Jn. 12:13). “I beheld, and lo a great multitude . . . of all nations . . . and people, and tongues . . . with . . . palms in their hands” (Rev 7:9, KJV).

2. What day was it? The seventh day before Passover, i.e., Sunday. “Seven days ye must eat unleavened bread, on the first day (Sunday) ye shall have an holy convocation” (Lev. 23:5-7).

a. Sunday was specially predicted in the feast schedule.

b. Sunday was called Yom Too i.e., good day.

c. This Sunday overshadowed ordinary ones.


1. SATURDAY NIGHT, Feast at Bethany. “Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany . . . there they made him a supper” (John 12:1-2).

a. Mary anointed His feet. Judas asked a question of application, “To what purpose is this waste?” (Matt. 26:8).

• To predict His death and burial (Matt. 26:12).

• To worship. Perfume was used in sacrifice.

b. Greed appears with worship. “This he (Judas) said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief” (John 12:6).

2. EARLY SUNDAY MORNING, Jesus obeyed scripture. “He went before, ascending up to Jerusalem” (Luke 19:28).

3. EARLY secured two animals. “Jesus sent two disciples . . . you will see a donkey tied there with its colt” (Matt. 21:1, LB).

a. Divine plan. Predicted place.

b. Human yieldedness. “And they let them (donkeys) go” (Mark 11:6).

c. Human preparation. “The disciples threw their coats across its back for Him (Jesus) to ride on” (Matt. 11:7, LB).

d. Fulfilled prophecy. “Behold your King cometh . . . riding upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zech. 9:9).

a. Jesus subdues animal nature. “Whereon never man sat” (Mark 11:2).

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