Palm branches are a part of Christian worship on Palm Sunday, or Passion Sunday, as it is sometimes called. This event commemorates Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, as foretold by the prophet Zechariah.
The Bible tells us people cut branches from palm trees, laid them across Jesus' path and waved them in the air. They greeted Jesus not as the spiritual Messiah who would take away the sins of the world, but as a potential political leader who would overthrow the Romans. Their shout "Hosanna" meant "save now."
In ancient times, palm branches symbolized goodness and victory. They were often depicted on coins and important buildings. Solomon had palm branches carved into the walls and doors of the temple (1 Kings 6:29). Again at the end of the Bible, people from every nation raise palm branches to honor Jesus (Revelation 7:9).
Today, many Christian churches distribute palm branches to worshipers on Palm Sunday. The people remember Christ's sacrificial death on the cross, praise him for the gift of salvation, and look expectantly to his second coming.