Palm Sunday Story
What Happened on Palm Sunday
The Palm Sunday story is based on the Gospel accounts in the bible. All 4 Gospel writers record the events. (Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, John 12)
What Happened on Palm Sunday?
- Jesus approaches the city of Jerusalem in a triumphal procession, with his followers and friends.
- As the crowd starts down the Mount of Olives, it becomes a victory march for Jesus. The people took their coats and palm branches and laid them on the ground where Jesus was coming.
- The people cry out in praise to Jesus as the King, the Christ, the Messiah.
- Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem.
- Jesus enters the temple, and teaches and works miracles there
- Little children continue to praise Jesus aloud in the temple.
- Some of the leaders in the city became angry and protested. They told Jesus to stop the praise. Jesus said if they didn't, the very rocks would cry out. This continued to anger some of the leaders in Jerusalem, who were enemies of Jesus, and told Jesus to rebuke his followers. Jesus refuted their accusations and defended his followers. God's voice from heaven was heard.
The Entrance into Jerusalem
Jesus came from the east in Jericho. He tells his followers, his apostles, that he was going to Jerusalem to die. But they did not understand what he was saying at all.
As he approaches the city of Jerusalem, near the little towns of Bethany and Bethphage, he tells his disciples to go get a donkey and it's colt. When the owner asks, tell him the Lord needs them, and he'll send them. This happens exactly as Jesus said.
This also fulfills a prophecy hundreds of years before by Zechariah (9:9), by which the people could recognize their true king.
The disciples put their garments on the colt, and Jesus sits on it. Most of the crowd spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus. Others take branches from trees, and spread them on the road. Jesus is the center of the procession.
The People Begin Shouting!
As the crowd takes the rocky road down the Mount of Olives, the people break out in praise to Jesus.
The people shout "Hosanna!" It's a word meaning, "Praise God!" and "God saves!" and "Save now!"
- "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
- "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
- "Hosanna in the highest!"
These phrases were reserved only to God and to his Messiah, the Savior of the World.
They were recorded by David in the Psalms (118:25-26) hundreds of years before.
The whole city was aroused by the commotion. They asked who is it. The crowd replied that it was Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
This is a sad Palm Sunday story. It's the story that Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
You would think Jesus would be happy that everyone was praising him. But, for the most part, the people were looking only for an earthy king, one who could deliver them from Roman occupation and cruelty and restore the city and country to economic prosperity and freedom. As the city to the west with the temple in front came into view, Jesus weeps.
Because so many people of them would reject him as the Messiah, he prophesied how their enemies would come and destroy every building, and put them in slavery.
Why Jesus Really Came to Jerusalem
By dying on the cross that very week, Jesus was going to take the full fury of hell and the devils, to take away the burden of sin and the chains of the devils enslaving us. Then he would raise himself from the dead on the third day, showing his power over sin, the devils, and even death.
But those who reject the power and authority of Christ, those who put more weight on things of this world, rather than on the eternal destiny of their soul, those who in their pride think they know better than the warnings of Jesus, these people would suffer the terrible price of falling forever into the very hands of the evil powers of darkness, the devils - the very ones Jesus wants to save us from. They would suffer eternal torture and death.
God gives everyone a free choice. Out of love, he will not take that away. That's because he wants our serving him to be a free choice, and not forced. He wants friends - not slaves, robots, or machines. Those who reject him, have to eternally suffer the terrible consequences.
He can only weep at their sheer stupidity.
What Jesus Prophesied
When Jesus wept, only Luke records this fact. It is found in 2 places. My recommendation is read Luke 19:41-44, then read Luke 13:34-35, which brings Jesus' weeping into a touching crescendo, as he compares himself to a mother hen wanting to gather her chicks.
What amazement, that human creatures made by God, destined to be his children, should reject their maker, and choose to belong to the cruel family of the devil.
Tell me, what mother hen ever created her chicks? We belong to God by much stronger ties, because he made us, then redeems us, and forgives us, and keeps providing wonderful gifts for us.
What ingratitude we all, at one time or other, are so guilty of!
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem by the gate nearest the temple. He went into the temple, and kicked out the money changers and buyers and sellers. He was angry, because they had made the temple, which should have been a place of prayer, into a place of commerce. And worse, Jesus said they had made it into a den of thieves.
Jesus was on his own property, and had every right to kick the bad people out. The prophecies also predicted that the Messiah would do this very thing.
He was truly God, and David and the people had given complete ownership of the temple to God in a solemn ceremony that lasted 8 days. It was a feast called the Dedication, and it was celebrated every year by the Jewish people.
Jesus Preaches in the Temple
In the next couple days before the Passover Feast, Jesus preached every day in the temple. Some of what follows may have occurred on Palm Sunday, or on the next day, as Jesus entered the temple later in the afternoon or evening.
Jesus Works Miracles
People that were blind and crippled came to Jesus while he was teaching in the temple. Jesus cured them right there in the temple.
The little children kept saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David." No doubt, they were excited to see Jesus work these miracles to help people.
Jesus Refutes His Enemies
Many of the religious leaders did not want to lose their power, they did not want to submit to the authority of Jesus, even though all the prophecies pointed to Jesus as the only Messiah, even though they were witnessing miracles right in front of their eyes.
They became very angry. They challenged his authority. They told Jesus to stop his followers from using these messianic titles.
Jesus told them if they didn't, the very rocks would cry out, to fulfill the prophecies, and that everyone would have no excuse to know the true Messiah.
In fact, a voice from heaven was also heard. Some people thought it was thunder, others thought it was an angel. (John 12:23-33) But it was the heavenly father answering the prayer of Jesus, to glorify his son.
In his teaching, Jesus silenced all the accusations of his enemies. He won every argument, and put them to shame, even though they tried to trip him up in his speech by trickery, even though they sent various groups of people to argue with him.
Jesus Defends the Children
The enemies of Jesus were angry at the children praising Jesus. They asked Jesus a question. Do you hear what these children are saying?
So Jesus asked them a question. Haven't you ever read in your bible? God has taught the children and infants to give him praise. (Matthew 21:15-16; Psalm 8:2)
Thank your stars, these children put these proud arrogant men to shame. I'd hate to be in their shoes on judgment day, because later that week, they were guilty of the blood and death of Jesus.
We Are All Guilty
And yet, by our sins, we all are guilty of his death.
So what I should say is, I'd hate to be in the shoes of those who put Jesus to death, and don't accept his plan of salvation, his way to get to heaven. What a tragic state!
And who gets into heaven? Jesus said, "Unless you become as a little child, you won't enter the kingdom of God." (Luke 18:17)
The Palm Sunday Golden Gate Story
When Jesus came into Jerusalem, he came from the east. He and his followers were traveling from Jericho.
According to a tradition, he entered through a gate in the middle of the eastern side of the Jerusalem wall, called the Golden Gate, and also called the Gate of Mercy, or the Gate of Eternal Life. It is the only gate of the 8 or so major gates in the walls of the old city that enters the Temple Mount area. If you go there today, it has been bricked up for centuries. Tradition says Jesus will use it again when he returns in great power, majesty, and glory at the Second Coming.
Another Palm Sunday Story - Viva Cristo Rey!
In the early 1900's, a brutal President of Mexico, Calles, (pronounced "Kigh-yez") and other wicked revolutionaries like Obregon, came to power and attacked the Christian-Catholic population of Mexico. They were most wicked and evil men, forcing bad laws on the people, and causing a terrible revolution, attacking and persecuting and killing tens of thousands of good people.
For example, an old man was arrested and shot just for having a sign in his shop, which he wouldn't take down. It said, Viva Cristo Rey! meaning, Long Live Christ the King!
"Viva Cristo Rey!" was the battle cry of the good Mexican people, knowing that Christ is much more powerful than this stupid cruel communist tyrant Calles and all his soldiers and helpers put together.
Calles and his henchmen executed many pastors and good people on all kinds of trumped-up charges, often without any trial. One of the pastors was Miquel Agustin Pro (Michael Augustine Pro).
As just one example, Michael secretly brought food to hundreds of families who were starving because they had been put out of work by the tyrant Calles and his evil laws. Calles and his henchmen also stole land and "re-distributed" it.
When Michael was executed by firing squad, he put his arms out like Jesus on the cross, and yelled out, like thousands of other victims, Viva Cristo Rey!, just before he died. The papers published the photos and the stories, that's how we know.
He was buried in a huge funeral procession, even though "religion" was outlawed. The soldiers of the wicked tyrant could do nothing to stop the thousands who came to mourn a real friend. Michael's grave was covered with flowers. Michael no doubt is a true hero in heaven.
Christ Conquers the Wicked!
Eventually, all must die, including tyrants like Calles and Obregon. God knows if they are buried in hell. All the awards they got from their friends, all the fame and power and money they had, all the monuments erected in their honor - all of this means nothing now, compared to burning in hell, tortured by devils, punished by God forever, without a moment of relief. Think of it - F-O-R-E-V-E-R.
Yes, we must pray for even the worst of leaders, that they convert before they die, because then it's too late. God died even for the worst. But when they commit such horrible crimes over and over, despite the cries and pleas for mercy as they execute innocent men, women, and children, they are usually too arrogant and proud to ever humble themselves and convert. And God will eventually put a permanent stop to their crimes.
For some wicked people, it would be the mercy of God to cast them into hell now, rather than to continue to live and commit more crimes, and make an even deeper place for themselves in hell. Some tyrants have hardened their heart so much, like the pharaoh of Egypt (Exodus 5-14) who was eventually drowned.
At that first Passover deliverance, Moses and all the people sang a great victory song, rejoicing at the destruction of their enemies by the power of God. (Exodus 15)
The Palm Sunday Story Ending - The Grand Finale
I have a friend who died a few months ago. You know how people say, "It all comes out in the wash"? Well, she liked to say, "It all comes out in the final rinse!"
On God's judgment day, like Moses and the people of old, we will be able to join with God in song, dance, and rejoicing, saying good riddance to all the tyrants and crooked judges and evil rulers and wicked people of this world.
God is not mocked. (Galatians 6:7) God and his faithful people will be fully vindicated. I pray to see this fully realized in my lifetime here on earth.
I discuss this great vindication in the Meaning of Palm Sunday
, especially how these stories apply to each of us.
Thank your stars, Christ will come back soon in great power and majesty and glory. Thank your stars, Viva Cristo Rey!
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