Branches - Symbol of Victory

branch in a window
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
- John 12:13 [ESV]
Passage: John 12:12-19


One of the biggest themes within the biblical texts is the victory Christians have in Christ Jesus. The author of the Gospel of John, John the Apostle, emphasizes this within the story of the Triumphal Entry. The crowd took palm branches and laid them down on the road so that Jesus would have a cushioned ride into Jerusalem. This kind of entry with the inclusion of palm branches was a symbol of victory and kingship at the time. Therefore, by placing palm branches down on the ground, the crowds welcomed Jesus as their victorious King.

Additionally, the crowd shouts, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” This is a reference to Psalm 118, fulfilling the word of God. The literal meaning of “Hosanna” is “save now,” which shows just how much hope the crowd had in Jesus. The praise of Jesus foreshadows not the earthly victory Jesus will have; rather, it foreshadows the victory over sin and death Jesus will have when He rises from the dead. Therefore, the palm branches represent the victory Christians have within Jesus Christ as their Savior.


One unique aspect of CCU is the sharing of personal testimonies in a time called Storytime. This part of the freshman adventure is not only unique but is also healing. I remember coming into CCU not knowing anybody and having never shared my testimony. I was one of the first to do so in my stairwell. I shared my testimony, the sins I struggled with, and how God has worked in my life. This brought an immense amount of healing. I was reminded just how important Christian community is and how I can use this community to live in the victory I have in Christ Jesus.

No matter what we have done, through the saving work of Christ, we have been brought into a new life, or in other words, a victorious life over sin. CCU has not only helped me live into the victory that Jesus has over my sins but has provided me with a close-knit group of friends who help me see victory in Jesus every day. I encourage you in this: CCU is a place where you not only will be challenged in your faith but also reminded of the love Jesus has for you through His victory over sin and death.

Joel Hesse
Class of 2024