Every day during Holy Week this year, I will post a blog that simply walks through the events of that day from 2000 years ago and each of the 4 gospel writers' perspectives. All 4 gospel accounts will be woven together to form a single storyline. Check out the intro post that explains the Bible version I'm using and the format of the posts.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week with Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem with His disciples. The people celebrated his coming by laying out palm branches for Him as He rode in on a donkey. This is the mixed account from the four gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, of that day.
The next day, Jesus, the disciples, and the great crowds were heading toward Jerusalem when they came to Bethphage and Bethany and the Mount of Olives, Jesus stopped and beckoned to two of the disciples.
Jesus: Go to that village over there. As soon as you get into the town, you’ll see a young colt tied that nobody has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it back to Me. If anybody stops you and asks what you’re doing, just say, “The Lord needs it, and He will send it back right after He’s done.”
So the disciples went off and followed Jesus’ instructions. Everything happened just as Jesus had told them. They found the colt in the street tied near a door, and they untied it.
Bystanders: What are you doing?
[T]he disciples answered as they had been instructed.
Disciples: The Lord needs it.
They brought the colt to Jesus [and] threw their coats on the colt’s back to make a comfortable seat, and Jesus rode the animal toward Jerusalem.
The great crowd followed suit, laying their cloaks on the road. Others cut leafy branches from the trees and scattered those before Jesus. When they passed the crest of Mount Olivet and began descending toward Jerusalem, a great crowd of people who had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem; so they gathered branches of palm trees to wave as they celebrated His arrival.
Crowds (shouting): Hosanna! He who comes in the name of the Lord is truly blessed and is King of all Israel.
And the crowds went before Jesus, walked alongside Him, and processed behind with loud shouts, glorifying God for the mighty works they had witnessed.
People (shouting): Hosanna! Rescue us now, Lord! Hosanna! Blessed be the One who comes in the name of the Eternal One! And blessed is the kingdom of our father David, which draws closer to us today! Hosanna in the highest heavens! Peace in heaven! Glory in the highest!
Those who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus enthusiastically spoke of Jesus to all who would listen, and that is why the crowd went out to meet Him. They had heard of the miraculous sign He had done.
Pharisees (to one another): Our efforts to squelch Him have not worked, but now is not the time for action. Look, the world is following after Him.
Pharisees (who were in the crowd): Teacher, tell these people to stop making these wild claims and acting this way!
Jesus: Listen—if they were silent, the very rocks would start to shout!
He sent the disciples on ahead so His entry into Jerusalem could fulfill what the prophet Zechariah had long since foretold:
"Tell this to Zion’s daughter,
'[D]o not be afraid. Look—your King is approaching, seated humbly on a donkey, a young foal, a beast of burden.'”
The disciples did not understand any of this at the time; these truths did not sink in until Jesus had been glorified. As they reflected on their memories of Jesus, they realized these things happened just as they were written.
When Jerusalem came into view, He looked intently at the city and began to weep.
Jesus: How I wish you knew today what would bring peace! But you can’t see. Days will come when your enemies will build up a siege ramp, and you will be surrounded and contained on every side. Your enemies will smash you into rubble and not leave one stone standing on another, and they will cut your children down too, because you did not recognize the day when God’s Anointed One visited you.
And that is how Jesus came into Jerusalem. To the sound of this chanting, Jesus rode through the gates of Jerusalem and up to the temple. The people noticed this strange parade. They wondered who this could be, this humble bearded man on a donkey who incited such songs.
Crowd: This is Jesus, the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.
He looked around and saw that evening was coming, so He and the twelve went back to Bethany to spend the night.