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Palm Sunday: The King Comes to Jerusalem

As Jesus approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples and said, “Go into the village ahead of you. As you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say this: ‘The Lord needs it.’”

So those who were sent left and found it just as He had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” “The Lord needs it,” they said. (Note 1)

Then they brought it to Jesus, and after throwing their clothes on the colt, they helped Jesus get on it. As he was going along, they were spreading their clothes on the road.

Now He came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!” (Note 2)

Some of the Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out.”

As He approached and saw the city, He wept for it, saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace -but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days will come on you when your enemies will build a barricade around you, surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you and your children among you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in your midst, because you did not recognize the time when God visited you.” Luke 19:29-44 CSB

Note 1: This fulfilled the words of the prophet Zechariah from some 500 years earlier: “Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on a donkey’s colt.” Zechariah 9:9 NLT

Note 2: The Gospel of John expands on the majesty of this procession. They “took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” John 12:13 NKJV

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