Humility and Reverence: Africa University Palm Sunday

Story by Panashe Muswe (2.2 Social work)

 

Palm Sunday is one of the most important days in the Christian faith, where we will be commemorating the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem to begin the final week of his life before His suffering and death. Palm Sunday, celebrated on the Sunday before Easter, symbolizes the beginning of the Passion of Christ, which includes his trial, crucifixion, and resurrection.

The events of Palm Sunday are recorded in all four synoptic Gospels in the Bible that are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. According to these accounts, Jesus was greeted with joy by the people of Jerusalem as he entered the city riding on a donkey. In response to their celebration and worship, Jesus told them that “the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve!” The people of Jerusalem responded by laying their cloaks on the ground and waving palm branches in the air, a sign of victory and an expression of joy. The traditional blessing for Palm Sunday is “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

On Sunday, 2 April people marched around the campus from the chapel being led by the Africa University Vice Chancellor Rev Professor Peter Mageto carrying palm branches and singing the Hosanna, a Hebrew pronunciation of “Save us.” This ceremony commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, and is a sign of faith and celebration of His coming. This was followed by the reading of the fall scripture concerning Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21) Then, a homily was given, focusing on the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. The palms traditionally used in the Palm Sunday procession are often blessed by the Reverend. This symbolic blessing marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most sacred week of the Christian year, and should be taken as a reminder of the joy and suffering associated with the coming days.

Today, Christians around the world still celebrate Palm Sunday and commemorate the day with liturgical services, processions, and readings from the Gospels. It is a powerful reminder of the suffering and salvation that Jesus endured in order to bring redemption to the world. In an age of violence and uncertainty, Palm Sunday is a symbol of peace, hope, and renewal-a day of rejoicing that calls us to remember Jesus’ great love for us, and the hope that His death brings. As we celebrate Palm Sunday and the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, let us remember to show humility and reverence before God, and thank Him for His great love and compassion. May we take this day to reflect on the great lengths Christ went to in order to bring us salvation, and may we be encouraged by His work of redemption. Happy Palm Sunday!