On the tenth day of Nisan, the day we call Palm Sunday, the lamb was selected by the priestly shepherds on the hills just north of Bethlehem to show to the high priest for his inspection to be the spotless Passover lamb, whose blood would be shed for the sins of the nation. (It is interesting to note that Jesus was born very near those hills. See my blog posting, "Our Strategic God".)
At the same time, we find Jesus with His disciples on the Mount of Olives. Here He tells them to find a donkey which He would ride into the city of Jerusalem. This was to fulfill the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Shout and cheer, Daughter Zion! Raise your voice, Daughter Jerusalem! Your king is coming! A good king who makes all things right, a humble king riding a donkey, a mere colt of a donkey” (The Message).
Jesus comes down the Mount of Olives and crosses the Kidron Valley as He heads towards the Eastern Gate of the city. Meanwhile, the high priest is entering the city, carrying the Passover lamb. It was customary for the people to lay down palm branches as the high priest carried the spotless lamb into the city. The crowd looks up and sees Jesus approaching and remembers all the mighty works they had seen Him do - healing the sick, making the blind to see, the lame to walk and healing Lazarus from the dead on the fourth day. Can you catch their excitement?
The crowds shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Hosanna means, “Save! We beg You Son of David.” ‘Son of David’ was another name for the Messiah.
We do not know if Jesus entered the Eastern Gate at the same time as the high priest but it must have been in close proximity. In the Gospel of John, John called Jesus the Lamb of God, who would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The fact that Jesus entered the Eastern Gate either with or after the high priest carrying the Passover lamb thrills me. God was saying to His people and to us in a visible way that Jesus is our Passover lamb.
Later, the religious leaders were indignant to hear the children shouting praises in the temple area. Jesus told the them that if the children kept quiet, even the rocks would cry out in praise of Him.
We know that a week later, the crowds turned on Jesus and on this day, Good Friday, they shouted for His demise. He died an awful death to atone for the sins of humankind – for your sin and for mine. The dying declaration from His lips was, “It is finished” (John 19:30). ‘It is finished’, tetelestail, was used in several ways. It could mean that a bill had been paid, a task completed, a sacrifice given, a masterpiece finalized. On the third day, God declared that He had accepted His Son’s sacrifice by raising Him from the dead. Romans 1:4 declares, Jesus Christ …”declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead…”
On this Easter weekend, when we celebrate the death and resurrection of the Son of God, my heart’s desire is that you, too have crowned Him as the Lord of your life.
In this Blog, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned from many years of following Jesus.