The Significance of the Palms and Cloaks
“They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:7-9)
Let’s discover the significance of some of the events that took place on this first day of the week that Jesus would be crucified (commonly known now as Palm Sunday).
Let’s first look at the branches that were spread upon the road. In John 12:12, these branches are described as “palm branches”. The palm branches carry several meanings.
First of all, palm branches were often used in the celebration of victory and in King David’s time, they were used to honor royalty. This fact of the history of palm branches makes a perfect connection to the true identity of Jesus as the King of Kings.
Not only that, but palm branches also represent Jesus being worthy as the High Priest for all who believe. A palm tree takes 30 years to bear fruit and a man could not become a High Priest until he was 30 years old. The ministry of Jesus began when he was 30 years old.
Palm branches point to Jesus being King and High Priest but there was something else that was laid before Jesus that day that carries great meaning as well.
Peoples “cloaks” or other interpretations say “garments” were also spread out on the road for the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. This was more than just an act of honor, this was also an acknowledgment and declaration that Jesus was the King of Kings, the promised Messiah.
The word garment here is the “tallit” or “prayer shawl”, which was a seamless garment with four corners, with a tassel attached to each of the four corners to remind the Jewish people of all the commands of God.
Upon its collar, the Hebrew letters spell, “Lord of lords and King of kings” as a symbolic reminder of the promised Messiah. By laying their “tallit’s” down, the people were acknowledging Jesus as God’s promised Messiah. They were declaring that Jesus was the one worthy to be called the “Lord of lords and King of kings”.
Whether it was the palm branches or the tallit’s, it all pointed to Jesus being the Messiah, High Priest and King. I pray our lives are continually laid down before Him and that our response is continually a life of worship unto Him.