April 5, 2020

East Gate Symbolism on Palm Sunday

Today's Palm Sunday sermon mentioned Jesus entering Jerusalem through the east gate.  That triggered something in my symbol-searching mind.  I wondered if there was more to find in the fact that Jesus used the east gate to enter Jerusalem instead of one of the others.  It seemed like an odd detail to include if it didn't signal something.

After some brief research, it looks like the east has particular significance because of the prophecy in Ezekiel.  Ezekiel 44 states that "glory of the God of Israel" will come from the east.

The east has a larger significance across human cultures that plays a role here too.  The east is the source of sunrise--light coming in to start each day.  Similarly, the arrival of Jesus on Palm Sunday is like new light entering Jerusalem and starting a new day.  It's a day where the ideals and concepts preached by Jesus emanate as light.

Even though day is dawning now, its bookend is in the west on Good Friday when the light is extinguished.  This symbolism--dawn and dusk--repeats across cultures.  Today was the first day that really clicked solidly for me in the Easter story.