Palm Sunday AD33: 5 Days until the crucifixion


Jesus entered Jerusalem and those watching this happen came to behold their king. They laid palm branches on the ground along with their robes, making a kind of pathway of acknowledgement. They believed, He came to the place where He would set up His earthly throne and rule as the long-expected Messiah would. With Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey He is the fulfilment of Zechariah’s prophecy, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”(Zech 9:9). Israel’s enemies would be addressed and Israel would receive the salvation promised, God would ensure that His people receive His blessings.


In the triumphal entry we see humility but also authority. Jesus is the Messiah, the king has come “And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt 21:9). As the crowd sings they acknowledge Jesus as the Davidic Messiah, the Son of David as seen in 2 Samuel 7. At this point, we pay particular attention to the crowds calling Jesus King, because, we know within a week they will turn and say at the trial of Jesus they have no king but Caesar.


When Jesus explains the purpose for which He came, He does with a prediction concerning His death. This does not sit well with the Jewish people who have understood the Messiah as one who would come and reign forever, this He will do but not in the way they have assumed. At the end of the day, Jesus visits the Temple. He will return the following day and He will continue to break Jewish assumptions, Jesus will not do what they expect and this is highlighted for us by Jesus riding into Jerusalem and entering the Temple rather than the Roman Garrison. The people of God have expectations but so too does God and God is seeking worshippers who will worship him in Sprit and truth, but the spiritual fruit you would expect to find cannot be found. Israel, just as they were in the day of Amos will be addressed. When the prophet Amos addressed them, they were all appreciating the message when it was about the judgement that was to come upon everyone else, but when Amos turned his attention to them and how God would address their sin, the appreciation of the message stopped.

Five days out and the people are shouting their praises and by the end of the week they are shouting crucify him.

Expectations are high, assumptions are fixed and Jesus has come to serve God by perfectly obeying His will. This is day one of the most important week in history.

Entering Jerusalem: Matt 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19

Predicting His death: John 12:20-36

Temple visit: Matt 21:14-17; Mark 11:11

Video by Peter Crockett

By Daniel Ralph

Recent Posts