Reflections on the joy of Palm Sunday

"They took palm branches and went out to meet him shouting 'Hosanna.'"

- John 12:13 (NIV)

While cleaning out a closet I came across an item that was like finding a buried treasure.

It was my first Bible. My parents gave it to me when I was 8 years old. I noticed how the leather was cracked and worn over the years. I tried opening the zipper which held it closed. It was somewhat rusty, and stuck a little, but I was surprised when it unzipped.

What's this, I wondered, as I pulled out a few keepsakes from within the pages.

Thumbing through the pages, I found some old pictures of Jesus I recall my pastor handing out to us on our way out the door from church one Sunday. I took a moment to admire my favorite one of Jesus knocking on the door, which represents him knocking on the door of our hearts.

Back to my task, I continued to thumb my way through the pages of my Bible. I stopped when I came across an odd looking cross. I removed it from within the pages and held it in my hand.

I ran my finger across it. I recalled it was made of the reeds of a real palm branch and I remember how that fascinated me.

As I held it in the palm of my hand, I thought about the Sunday it was given to me and the true meaning behind the branch.

It was Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before Easter. As our pastor handed out the crosses to us, he explained the story behind it. He told us how Jesus rode into the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey. The people were so filled with joy to see him, they waved palm branches and shouted "Hallelujah" in a jubilant greeting. Palm branches represented joy and victory.

Little did anyone realize it would be their last chance to give Jesus a greeting, for the following Friday he would be crucified.

Once again, my attention returned to the pieces of palm branch resembling a cross.

As I clutched it in my hand, I felt a warm feeling come over me at the thought I was holding a real palm branch, just like the ones used to greet our Lord and savior.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted at or (847) 543-8413.

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