Palm Sunday is the first day of the week before Easter. Traditionally this week is called Holy Week as Christians remember and reflect on the events that led to Jesus Death and resurrection. Holy week allows us the opportunity to meditate on all that Jesus suffered before his death. Before suffering, Jesus had a day of triumph and that day is Palm Sunday.
Jesus knew what lay in front of him. He was well aware of what the full plan of God the Father was. When the time was right at the end of what is believed to be Jesus 3 years of ministry here on Earth, Jesus set his path to Jerusalem and made his way there.
It was the feast of the Passover. The Passover is a feast of the Jews that commemorates the Jews being set free from Egypt. The tenth plague that God sent on Egypt was the death of every first born son. In order that the plague did not come into their homes Moses was instructed by God for every family to offer a lamb as sacrifice. They were to eat the lamb together and take some of its blood and place it on the doorpost so the plague would not enter their homes. They were also instructed to reenact this yearly as a remembrance of how God set them free.
Jesus is referred to as The Lamb of God, and also the Son of God, Jesus would make a sacrifice of Himself as the ultimate lamb therefore forgiving all of us our sins. The beginning of this sacrifice was Palm Sunday.
Jesus was outside of Jerusalem and he sent two of his disciple into a nearby town and told them that they would find a donkey’s colt that had never been ridden. He told them to take the colt and bring it to him. He also said that if anyone tried to stop him they should say that “The Lord has of it, “and they would have no trouble. This worked out exactly has Jesus had told them.
Jesus mounted the donkey and as the crowd saw Jesus coming toward the city they showered him with praise saying, “Blessed his he who come in the name of The Lord! The king of Israel.” The crowd found branches of Palm trees and waved them before Jesus, they also placed their coats on the ground in front of him for the donkey to walk on.
This fulfilled a prophesy that had been written hundreds of years before that said, “Fear not Daughter of Zion; Behold, your king is coming sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
The people reacted in the way they did for a number of reasons. The first is that many had followed him for three years, some actually with him, and others paying close attention to everything he did. They knew of the healings he performed, they knew when he fed 5000 thousand people on one occasion and 4000 thousand people on another when there were only a few loaves of bread and some fish available. News had spread about him throughout the entire nation and now much of the nation was in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. They also knew that very recently a dead man that many had known had been raised and brought back to life. This had taken place only a short distance from Jerusalem itself.
Jesus had enemies that wanted to kill him. They were the Pharisees and the teachers of The Law of God. They did not believe that Jesus was who he claimed to be and as they saw the crowd praising Jesus they rebuked him and told him that he should instruct them to stop, but Jesus replied to these men, saying “ I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones themselves would immediately cry out.”
As Jesus gazed on the city of Jerusalem he wept, he knew that its destruction was soon to come, and it did about 70 or so years after Jesus death and resurrection. After entering the city he went to the temple and drove out the money changers saying “It is written My House is a House of Prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”
The sacrifices and temple taxes all had to be made by Jewish coin. At the time Rome, ruled most of the world including Israel and so the common coin was the coin of Rome. This coin would have to be changed in the temple for the Jewish coin and the ones making this exchange would charge an enormous sum to do so. As an example say you had an American dollar. You would present that to the money changers and he might give you fifty cents in Jewish coin, pocketing fifty cents for himself.
In driving the money changers out of the temple he was cleansing his Father’s and his own house as well.