Palms of Praise
Written by Louis Grant
From one Sunday to another…7 days…1 week…an awful lot can happen in just a week. During April 2012, we experience April 1st – Palm Sunday – to April 8th – Easter Sunday or Resurrection Day.
So much happened… it is shockingly surprising.
People gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. They wondered if Jesus would come to Jerusalem to the feast knowing that He was a wanted man, had been conspired against, threatened, lied on, and was accused of coming to set up His kingdom and take over being King of Israel, King of the Jews.
The authorities sought to kill Him. While some wanted to kill Jesus, others who found out Jesus was coming to Jerusalem planned a praise party using palm branches and their clothes to honor Him as they cried out words of honor… “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:13) And so it was the palm branches by which the name, Palm Sunday, was derived.
I thought about that. Some of the people who praised Jesus with palm tree branches on Sunday wind up using the palms of their hands to disrespect Him, wound Him, and try to destroy Him just days later. From Sunday to Friday…a palm branch was in the palms of many hands to celebrate Jesus. Now in the palms of other hands are weapons, whips, swords, chains, and a fighting spirit.
The palm branches were made by Jesus, the Creator as John 1:3 says… “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Now this same Jesus, the Creator, who made the palm of our hands is arrested, and feels the palms He made striking His face, wounding Him, slapping Him. The praise is silenced! The hate is tumultuous! Those hands platted a crown of thorns and placed it on Jesus. Tried Him all night long. Pounded the gavel sounds and declared Jesus “guilty!” Sentenced Him to die, drove nails in His hands, nails or spikes in His feet…grabbed a spear and pierced Him in His side, handed Him gall and vinegar for His thirst, slapped His face, and were just about to break His legs when they found out He was already dead.
He is buried three days like He said…but then He rises from the dead and proves he is the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus, the Son of God, our Savior, our Redeemer, and Lord and most of all…our Forgiver! He holds no grudges, anger, malice, nor hate!
And…He brings another look at the word PALM…Isaiah 49:16 says the Lord has engraved us on the palms of His hands! That means, He will not forget us nor lose us but will comfort us, love us, and return for us as He promised!
This season of worship called Easter should be a time when we all take inventory to see what we’re doing with these hands of ours.
What am I holding and how am I using my hands?
Am I helping or hurting someone?
Am I pulling someone up that’s down or am I the one who pushed them down?
If nothing else…I would be proud to wrap my palms around a palm branch and wave Jesus a praise right now for all He has already done for me!
I’m Louis Grant…waving my PALMS of PRAISE to JESUS! YES, both hands (1 Timothy 2:8) “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands of prayer, without anger or disputing.”
Additional scripture references: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-40, and John 12:12-15