Holy Week was ushered in to Jerusalem on Sunday with thousands of Christians waving palms and walking the route believed to be the same one Jesus took when he entered Jerusalem in his final week.
“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: ‘Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.’” John 12:12-15
Thousands of Christians, both local Arabs and Armenians, plus pilgrims, poured into the alleys of the Old City to attend Palm Sunday services and then left with their symbolic fronds for family dinners or to visit more of the city.
The excitement that always marks this time in Jerusalem was palpable in the Old City on Sunday. As the week carries on, the anticipation of the holy day builds until the Saturday of Light and then ultimately Easter Sunday.
Many of the Holy Week events in Jerusalem are relived as in the Bible. Because of the geography here, Christians can actually follow the footsteps of Jesus around Jerusalem to the holy sites that commemorate the week of his last supper, death and resurrection.
Anthony, a tourist from Romania, was making his first Easter pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He said he was moved by being able to live out some of the passion of Jesus, on location.
“I think it is important to do this at least once in order to strengthen my faith,” he told Travelujah. “I feel the Easter story coming alive to me.”
Services took place at various churches around Israel and the Palestinian territories.
By Nicole Jansezian, Travelujah
Nicole Jansezian writes for www.travelujah.com, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. Travelujah is a vibrant online community offering high quality Christian content, user and expert blogs, travel tours and planning services for people interested in connecting with or traveling to the Holy Land.