Summary: This is a fun topical sermon to be used on Palm Sunday. It's a way to have something different to say on Palm Sunday. It takes the characteristics of a Date Palm Tree and applies them to living out the Life of a Christ Follower.
Theme: Palm Sunday
Title: Palm Life - Palm Tree Christianity
This is a topic sermon used on Palm Sunday - taking the characteristics of the Date Palm Tree and applying them to the Christian Life.
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus who came to take away the sin of the world!
Today is the 1st Sunday of Passion Week - it is also the day that we in the church celebrate the anniversary of Jesus' Triumphant Parade into Jerusalem. In most Church circles it is called Palm Sunday.
What happened some 2,000 years ago this upcoming week changed everything. It changed all of history and all of creation. It changed the very present and eternal destiny of humankind. When our LORD Jesus Christ gave his life as a ransom and as a sacrificial love offering for all of us it radically transformed everything. Jesus made a way through His death and Resurrection for every person born on our earth to be Reborn from Above and Filled with His Holy Spirit. Jesus made a way for us to experience human life in a whole new way - cleansed and purified by the Holy Spirit. We today can live a life infilled with the Holy Spirit and a life that can be lived out through that same Holy Spirit.
This was the week that Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, King David, Isaiah and all the prophets had looked forward to in anticipation. This was the week that all of heaven had been looking forward to since the Fall of Man. This was the week that Jesus would begin the final steps of his mission here on earth.
All of which, of course, brings us back to today - Palm Sunday. It's the anniversary of the day that Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey as scores of followers surrounded him with praise, prophecies, prayers and palm branches.
This morning, I would like us to spend a little time looking at one aspect of Jesus' Parade. It's the use of those Palm Tree branches. Have you ever wondered why those who followed Jesus used Palm Tree branches instead of say oak tree branches, cedar tree branches or even olive tree branches?
Well, it's because of all the meanings and symbols that were associated with the Palm Tree. For our Jewish friends, the Palm tree was and still is seen as one of the greatest trees of all creation. It's image was carved on the doors, the door posts and on the walls of the Temple. It was one of the most visible symbols pointing back to the Garden of Eden, to life here on earth and to everlasting life to come. In the book of Revelation it is one of the trees that the Apostle John sees growing by the crystal waters on the New Earth.
Archeologists tell us that the Palm Tree was seen as a sacred tree by other tribes of people including the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and even the Romans. There was something mystical and special about the Palm Tree that appealed to ancient man's spirituality. Ancient Egyptian coffins have been discovered with Palm Tree images carved on them to symbolize the passage of the inhabitant going from this life to the afterlife.
We all know this morning that certain trees, plants, animals and things take on a life bigger than their own. They come to represent certain ideas and thoughts. For example:
+A red rose signifies the idea of love whereas a white rose symbolizes the ideas of purity and innocence and at one time white roses were the main flowers for a wedding service.
+The Golden Eagle is a symbol of power as well as a symbol of holiness, perseverance and commitment.
+The oak tree is a symbol of strength, stability and endurance.
+The olive tree is a symbol of prosperity, peace and harmony.
+The raven is the symbol of death or sorrow whereas a dove is a symbol of new life and peace.
This morning, I would like for us to spend a few moments looking at the characteristics and symbolical ideas that surrounded the Palm Tree. In doing so, I believe we can discover some amazing truths that can help us live out our Christian Life here on earth.
Did you know that there are some 2,780 different varieties of Palm Trees all over our world? So, which one of these varieties did the People of God look up to? From all that we can discover through the images they used, from the stories they shared and from other sources it was the Date Palm. While other plants could not withstand the arid and harsh environment in the Middle East - the Date Palm was able to not only survive but thrive. The Date Palm provided food, shelter and comfort. It was argued that it took only one single Date Palm tree to meet all the necessary needs of a Jewish man, woman, boy or girl.