Matters of Faith: There’s a Purpose for the Palms!


Cross made out of palm fronds.

Cross made out of palm fronds.


20161113_JLRussellBy Rev. J. Loren Russell

“After this I looked, and there was an enormous crowd—no one could count all the people! They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood in front of the throne and of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭GNT‬‬)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Today is the day that we recount the familiar story of Jesus entering Jerusalem to a crowd of cheering people who lined the street with their garments, laid some on the backside of a colt’s fowl, then waved palm branches and laid them on the ground as He passed by. They also shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13). (Hosanna is a shout of acclamation and adoration).

This day is known by Christians and celebrated around the world as “Palm Sunday.” If you’ve ever gone to a church on a Palm Sunday, before you leave the service, you will be given strands of palm branches. These palms are given to commemorate the celebration of Christ’s victorious entry into the city. Matthew Henry’s Commentary tells us that “the palm-tree has ever been an emblem of victory and triumph.” The people gathered to see Him enter the city because word had gotten out of who He was and the miracles He performed. They especially wanted to see Lazarus, whom He raised from the grave.

Palm Sunday

When they waived those palm branches they thought that the day had come when they would be set free from the oppressive rule of the Romans. They thought their savior had surely come. What they didn’t understand was that the real purpose for His triumphant entry was going to have a much more profound impact. While His entrance into Jerusalem marked the beginning of the end of Christ’s life on earth, it opened the portal to everlasting life to whosoever believes in Him.

When John wrote the book of Revelations, he finally understood. The real purpose was revealed when he saw a crowd so numerous that no one could count, all standing before the throne. They were dressed in white, the color of righteousness, and had the palm of victory in their hands. The purpose for the palms was for this victory: “the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:17).

What they didn’t know at that time was that the purpose for the palms was eternal victory for all who would believe. Will you be in that number that no one could count?

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell (#jlorenr) is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting; and host of “Matters of Faith: The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM ( phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at

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