Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household… Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. We heard the story as we sat on the Mount of Olives and looked to the west to the Temple Mount and the beautiful city of Jerusalem. The biblical narrative came to life as we imagined the stories in their original setting. John tells us that Jesus arrived in Bethany, a town on the Mount of Olives, on Friday, six days before the Passover. He stayed at the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus over the Sabbath. On Sunday, the first day of the week, Jesus left Bethany with his disciples and walked the short distance to Bethpage, another small village located on the slope of the Mount of Olives that faced Jerusalem. At that point Jesus got on a donkey and with his disciples behind him, he began to ride down the Mount of Olives towards the eastern entrances to the city of Jerusalem. The road into the city was extremely crowded that day as hundreds of thousands if not millions, according to Josephus of pilgrims were flocking into the city to begin the celebration of the Passover season. The Feast of Passover was the most important Jewish feast of the year and was one of the three pilgrimage feasts Passover, Pentecost, and Sukkot that every Jewish male was required to attend in Jerusalem.
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He serves as worship pastor and in Colorado and spends his weekends exploring the Rocky Mountains with his family. Today is the day people celebrate "Palm Sunday". But what is the significance for us? To answer that, you have to go back a bit to what was happening politically when this event took place. The Roman Empire was the occupying force of this region of the world. This would be a deliverer from the lineage of one of the ancient kings, David. It's like Gondor waiting for Aragon to take his rightful place on the throne if this reference is lost on you, please immediately read "The Lord of the Rings" or watch the films. There is a group of people who are so committed to following the ways of God and resisting Roman occupation, that they will commit any act of violence to fight Rome and usher in the kingdom of God led by a warrior messiah who will vanquish the evil-empire and bring in a reign of peace. They were called the zealots.
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A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,. Not incidentally, on the Jewish calendar, it was 10th day of Nisan Nisan But, for a first century Jew, this was a highly important date on their calendar. That lamb was to become their Passover lamb. God had given specific requirements for observing Passover. One of those requirements for Passover was in selecting an acceptable Passover lamb on a spe cific date. It had to be a chosen animal that would pass a thorough inspection to ascertain there were no visible signs of disease, scabs, sores, deformities, undernourishment, etc. That is, the true fulfillment of the Passover Lamb was in Jesus of Nazareth.
Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout jubilantly, O daughter of Jerusalem! Look—your King is coming; He is righteous and able to save. A few years ago, I spent an afternoon studying Palm Sunday. I wanted to look at this day through Jewish eyes…. There are so many rich nuggets to be found in this momentous occasion. My study began with a specific question. Why did God choose this particular day for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem?