On March 19, The Mirror News out of the United Kingdom reports on the meaning of Palm Sunday and on celebrations around the world for the beginning of Holy Week. They state, “Palm Sunday is the final Sunday before Easter, when Christians use palm crosses to mark the moment Jesus entered Jerusalem…” before his death on the cross and resurrection that is celebrated the following Easter Sunday. The Mirror News provides photos from around the world of Palm Sunday celebrations.
The Mirror News explains that the name Palm Sunday comes from the tradition of worshippers given palm fronds to participate in the memory of Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem. Palm branches are a widely recognized symbol of victory and peace. In Biblical times often they have been thrown before the feet of a conquering hero. The Gospel writers record that when Jesus arrived in the Holy City the crowds threw palm branches and clothes at his feet to honor Him. It has been foretold in the Old Testament that people would recognize the Messiah when he rode into the city and they would lay palms at his feet. All the Gospels, which record events from unique perspectives, describe Jesus Christ riding into the Holy City on the back of a donkey that had never been ridden before in order to show that He has come in peace and not to wage war.
Multitudes around the world are celebrating and honoring the Prince of Peace in live, filmed, and televised reenactments, passion productions, and modern day resurrection stories. Mojo Box Office reports “Miracles From Heaven,” a contemporary resurrection story based on true and documented events, moved into second place at the box office after its first day in the theaters this past Wednesday. Forbes reports that Patricia Riggen’s ‘Miracles from Heaven’ has earned a solid $1.9 million on its first day of release. “…’Like ‘Heaven Is for Real’ back in 2014, this Sony-distributed faith-based drama (starring Jennifer Garner as a mother trying to find a cure for her daughter’s mysterious illness) is spreading out its opening weekend over five days. The film earned an A+ from Cinemascore and snagged refreshingly good reviews.” Variety reports that “Miracles From Heaven” is resonating with audiences and that it is on pace to generate $10 million over its first five days of release.
“Miracles From Heaven” features Jennifer Garner, Queen Latifah, and Eugenio Derbez, Mexican comic star, who bring delightful, heart-felt, performances to the movie. This film is based on Christy Beam’s bestselling book about the amazing true events in which her daughter, Anna, experienced a painful, debilitating disorder for four years but was restored and healed in a freak accident. Golden Globe® winner Jennifer Garner is Christy Beam, a determined, devoted mother whose life is turned upside down when her daughter Anna (wonderfully performed by newcomer Kylie Rogers) is struck with a rare, incurable, painful digestive disorder. This is a must-see movie for families of older children through adults. It is a wonderful choice in a movie for Palm Sunday and the Easter Season for intergenerational families.
Out in theaters now are two other outstanding resurrection stories in movies that are appropriate for the Easter Season. “Risen,” is outstanding in performances, cinematography, music, as well as comic relief. This is a not-to-be missed movie in cinemas, especially for the Easter Season. “The Young Messiah” is also now in theaters, at the top of the box office as “Risen” has been. “The Young Messiah” is an imagined story of young Jesus Christ, which is based on The Bible, histories, and stories of the time. The acting, storytelling, cinematography, as well as music are captivating.
The Lansing Journal reports on the best on TV for the weekend, which they describe as the “WEEKEND’S MUST-SEE: ‘The Passion,'” on FOX, 8-10 p.m., ET., this Palm Sunday. This spectacular production with its multiple stages, screens, and mutitudes of participants will tell of Jesus Christ’s final hours on earth. In a contemporary production with modern dress, it is produced in New Orleans . Stages are set along the Mississippi River. A procession of multitudes will move through the city. Tyler Perry is the narrator. It incorporates pop songs and pop stars: Jencarlos Canela, a telenovela star, plays Jesus; Chris Daughtry performs Judas; Tricia Yearwood is Mary; Seal plays Pilate; and Yolanda Adams, Michael W. Smith and more play other roles.
Tyler Perry says, ” ‘The Passion’ is about love, inclusion and compassion for all mankind. It’s for believers and also nonbelievers. It’s for all faiths and all backgrounds. This story doesn’t just belong to one group, it belongs to humanity. Love, forgiveness and compassion, those are things that are universal to us all. We all need them and The Passion will deliver it right into your home.”
Time reports that Tyler Perry, originally from New Orleans shares in an interview,”…I don’t know of a better backdrop than New Orleans. This city literally rose again from a liquid grave. So to have the story of Jesus Christ’s suffering and resurrection told in this city, I just thought it was perfect….” Further, Time quotes Perry, “… once I read the script, I knew it was accurate, and once I sent it to many pastors and they saw it and thought that it was accurate, I was in. That is what is always important to me, to make sure it is true to the word of God…”
Perry asks for support to “…send a message to Hollywood that we want to see more TV shows that leave us lifted, inspired and changed. Shows that leave us hopeful….” Finally, he thanks FOX, the creator, and producers of “The Passion.” He thanks them for bringing some balance to TV. He further says thank you to all who will watch, pray, and support this project. He asks that we all get behind it in spirit and in faith.
Happy Palm Sunday, as we celebrate the Prince of Peace with multitudes around the world!