April 5

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Fifth Day before Passover (Palm Sunday)

By Tresta Neil

Easter, פֶּסַח (Passover)

Symbols of Easter, the Resurrection, and the Passover

What a Historical Event!

Today we participated in a Solemn Assembly with a Hosanna Shout commemorating the bicentennial year of the First Vision on Palm Sunday!

We call it “Palm Sunday” because it happened to fall on a Sunday the last year of Jesus’ life. Passover, that year (33 A.D.), took place on a Thursday. Four days before Passover it was typical of the lamb that was to be sacrificed for the Passover would be chosen and brought into the home as a member of the family. It was loved, cared for, washed, groomed, and played with. I can imagine that the younger ones may have even named their lamb.

On this same day that the lambs or goats were being chosen as the sacrificial lamb for Passover that year, Jesus enters Jerusalem on a young colt. His twelve apostles entered with him. The multitude hear about his coming and came to welcome him into their city (the home of the temple). They carried palm fauns and branches and cried “Hosanna,” a Hebrew word meaning “Save Us.” They understood and accepted Jesus as the Messiah, the same who had delivered Israel anciently (Ps. 118:25–26; Matt. 21:9, 15; Mark 11:9–10; John 12:13). They recognized him as the long-awaited Savior (see the Guide to the Scriptures.)

The people were accepting him, choosing him as the Pascal Lamb, the one to be sacrificed for all mankind, and they probably didn’t even understand the magnitude. In their hearts they believe he would save them from their current rulers, the Romans. This entrance later became known as the “Triumphal Entry.”

While each family chose and accepted an innocent lamb into their home as a sacrificial offering the innocent, Lamb of God was being chosen and accepted by the city of Jerusalem as the world’s Passover Sacrifice.

Imagine the sadness of the children when they learned they had to kill their lamb for the Passover festival. Imagine the sadness of heaven when Jesus was being chosen. Imagine how God, our Father, felt when he knew the suffering of his son was just beginning.

The palm leaf and the word Hosanna are symbols of Easter and the Resurrection. The Nephites used Hosanna in celebration of the Messiah  (1 Ne. 11:6; 3 Ne. 11:14–17). The Hosanna shout was included in the dedication of the Kirtland Temple (D&C 109:79) and is now a part of the dedication of each modern temple and other important buildings (conference center), and the introduction of new scripture.

~ Ponder on how you have accepted Christ into your home and your family.

Reflect:

  • When have you had to give up something you loved?
  • Share your thoughts and feelings about other times you participated in the Hosanna Shout with your family.
  • How do you show others that you belong to Christ?
  • What sacrifices have you made to show God and others that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior?
  • When in your life have you felt impressed to call upon God for Jesus to “Save us?”

Here are a few activities you can use with your family:

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