Palm Sunday – March 28, 2021

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Palm Sunday

  1. In the ANE, officials used donkeys for civil processionals and horses for military processionals (cf. 1 Kings 1:33). Here, Jesus comes as the peaceful king (e.g., Zech 9:9). At his parousia, he will come as the conquering king (Rev 19:11-16).
  2. “Hosanna” – “O save!” See Ps 118:25-26. Psalms 113-118 composed the Hallel, sung throughout Passover season.
  3. This event was the single most important day in Jewish history. The disparate responses of the people are representative of all human/angelic responses.

A walk through Holy Week or “Passion Week”

For a more detailed account with texts, see:


  • Jesus and disciples arrive in Bethany (Jn 12:1)
  • Mary of Bethany anoints the Lord’s feet (Jn 12:2-8)

Sunday – “Palm Sunday” 

  • Jesus enters Jerusalem: “Triumphal entry” (Mt 26:6-13; Jn 12:2-8)
  • Jesus weeps over city (Lk 19:41-44)
  • Jesus goes to the temple (Mk 11:11)
  • Jesus returns to Bethany (Mk 11:11)


  • Jesus curses the fig tree as a sign of judgment (Mk 11:12-14; cf. Mt 21:18-22)
  • Jesus “cleanses” the temple (Mt 21:12-13; Mk 11:15-17)
  • Jesus returns to Bethany (Mk 11:19)


  • Jesus teaches the people (Mt 21:28-22:14; 34-40; Mk 12:41-44)
  • Jesus questioned about his authority and credentials (Mt 21:23-22:14; 22:23-33)
  • Jesus asked about paying taxes to Caesar (Mt 22:15-22)
  • Jesus pronounces “woes” against religious leaders (Mt 23:1-36)
  • Jesus stays on/near the Mt. of Olives (Lk 21:37-39)
  • Jesus prophesies about the end times – “The Olivet Discourse” (Mt 24:1-25:46; Mk 13:1-37)


  • The religious leaders plot to kill Jesus (Mt 25:1-5; Mk 14:1-2; Lk 22:1-2)
  • Judas agrees to betray Jesus (Mt 26:14-16; Mk 14:10-11)

Thursday – “Maundy Thursday” or “Covenant Thursday”

  • Jesus washes his disciples’ feet (Jn 13:1-20)
  • Jesus inaugurates the New Covenant with the “New Command” (Lk 22:14-20; Jn 13:34-35)
  • Jesus and disciples observe Passover meal and “Last Supper” (Lk 22:7-16)
  • Jesus gives his “upper room discourse” and prays to the Father (John 13:18-14:31)
  • Jesus and the disciples go to Gethsemane to pray (Mk 14:32; Jn 18:1)

Friday – “Good Friday” and beginning of the Easter Triduum

  • Jesus arrested and subjected to six “trials”: before Annas, Caiphas, Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod, Pilate (Mt 26:47-27:23; Mk 14:43-15:14; Jn 18:13-24)
  • Jesus is scourged. Then he is crucified. He is on the cross from 9am-3pm (Mt 27:27-54; Mk 15:16-39)
  • Jesus dies, accompanied by an earthquake, the tearing of the temple curtain, and reviving of certain dead saints (Mt 27:50-54)
  • Jesus’ soul descends to hades, the place of the dead (Eph 4:8-10; 1 Pt 3:18-20)
  • Jesus’ body is placed in Joseph of Arimathea’s family tomb (Jn 19:38-42)

Saturday – “Holy Saturday”

  • Jesus’ body rests in the tomb; his soul is in hades where he announces his victory over sin, death and the fallen elohim (1 Pt 3:18)
  • The religious leaders and Pilate secure the tomb (Mt 27:62-66)

Sunday – “Easter” or “Pascha” the Feast of the Resurrection

  • Jesus rises from the dead and appears to his disciples (Mt 28:1-20; Mk 16:1-8; Lk 24:1-53; Jn 20-21)

Holy Week Exercise

  • Each day this week, with the help of the notes above, take time to put yourself in the shoes of Jesus’ and his disciples. Read one or more of the texts associated with the events of that day and imagine what it would have been like to be with Jesus and observe them firsthand. Focus especially on Jesus’ sufferings (the real meaning of “Passion Week”). “Be with him” in those sufferings. Sit with him. Talk to him about his various experiences and tell him how you feel about what he went through for you. Practice what Paul talked about in Philippians 3:10: get to know Christ through “the fellowship of his sufferings”.