Palm Sunday and Hebrew Customs

Palm Sunday and Hebrew Customs

"This month is the beginning of months for you; it shall be the first month of your year” (Exodus 12:2). This quote from the second book of the Torah points to the new Biblical year which began less than two weeks ago. Nissan, the name of this month, is famous for Jesus' last Passover meal, the Last Supper. Nissan is also the start of the new Biblical year, so happy new year!

Tucked between new year’s day and the Last Supper we find “lamb selection day,” on the 10th of Nissan. If you’ve ever wondered about the origins of Palm Sunday, this Hebrew custom may give new insight. The custom was first enacted when God’s people lived in Egypt. The Israelites were told to choose a lamb on the 10th of Nissan, then kill and eat it quickly four days later, on the evening of Passover. They smeared the lamb’s blood on doorframes as instructed and death passed over them (Exodus 12:3). There was power in the blood.

A millennium and a half later, in the same month, Jesus entered Jerusalem to prepare for Passover. His entry, known by Christians as Palm Sunday, was foretold by Zechariah who said, “Look—your King is coming; He is righteous and able to save …” (Mark 11:11; Zechariah 9:9). The day after Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem was the day to choose lambs for Passover, the 10th of Nissan. Jesus, spotless and worthy, was in position to be chosen. Four days later, on Passover, he poured out His life on the cross as our Passover lamb. Over 20 centuries later, the power in His blood continues to mark us, demanding death and every scheme of the enemy to pass over us (1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 John 3:14, Revelation 12:11).

Saturday, April 1st, was the 10th of Nissan. Passover is this week on Wednesday night. Remarkable. The day of choosing the Lamb, written in the annals of history, and the Lamb, ordained before the creation of the world, was set up in advance so we could see it in plain sight (1 Peter 1:20). This is God's story of redemption from Exodus to Revelation and the rich heritage of our family story, our inheritance. As you prepare your Passover table or make plans for Easter Sunday, grab ahold of the fullness available this month. Launch your new year like no other!


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