“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! . . . Hosanna in the highest”
The Eighth Sunday of the Great Fast (Abiy Tsom) is called “Hosanna” which means Save us! This is the celebration of Our Lord's humble entrance into the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey, while the crowds were scattering their garments before Him and waving their palm branches.
Palm Sunday is significant for all Christians because it marks the beginning of Holy Week. That very important day when Our Lord and Saviour Eyesus Kristos began His journey toward the Cross.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
The symbolism of the donkey refers to the ancient tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. A king comes riding on a horse when he was bent on war, but he rides upon a donkey when he wants to show he is coming in peace. Our Lord and Saviour Eyesus Kristos’ entry into Jerusalem would thus symbolize His entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.
Why did Our Lord and Saviour Eyesus Kristos ride an Ass and a Colt to enter to Jerusalem?
The spiritual meaning of the Ass and the Colt are the Old and the New Testament, and the city of Jerusalem represents the soul. Our Lord and Saviour Eyesus Kristos the Word of God entered into Jerusalem riding on the Ass(Old Testament) and half way to Jerusalem he switched to young Colt(New Testament). From both Old and New Testament we find the word of truth which purifies our soul and drives away all evil.
On this day according to The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church's tradition, clergies distribute blessed palm branches to the congregation. Believers on the other hand will make small crosses with the blessed palm leaves and tie them to their heads or make them into rings.
Palms have long been a sign of victory, success and glory. The palms we take home serve to remind us that by Our Lord and Saviour Eyesus Kristos’ victory, we too can gain this victory and achieve everlasting life.
Is our Faith to God dependent on conditions?
The same people who applaud Our Lord and Saviour Eyesus Kristos’ entrance into Jerusalem on Hosanna morning, shouting out “Hosanna in the highest!" and ‘King of Israel’ five days later, cried, “Crucify Him.” and ‘We have no king but Caesar!’. What a contrast between the palm branches and the cross. Before they were offering their own clothes for Him to walk upon, and so soon afterwards they stripped him of his clothes.”
As our Lord suffered and died for our sins, so we too should rejoice in our suffering for Him. This is how we show our faith and gain victory over the enemy.
May Medhanealem Grant us to See The Light of His Resurrection in Peace Amen!