Palm Sunday, today, is exactly 5 days before the death of Jesus Christ. This event is found in all four gospels in the Bible (Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, John 12). This day commemorates the entry of Christ into Jerusalem and is the beginning of what Christians call Holy Week. It is named “Palm” Sunday for the palm branches that appear in this next story which are prevalent in the middle east. The symbols in this text would have been powerful to those who originally participated. The donkey was a symbol of peace, the palm branch was a symbol of triumph, and Psalm 18, which is the song of the event, is a prophetic song written hundreds of years before. Below is the text as found in Matthew 21. 

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”