Sunday, April 14, 2019

Passover & Holy Week

On Palm Sunday, Christians celebrate the Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem for Passover, where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him & laying down palm leaves before him. His appearance marks the beginning of Holy Week. But Jesus' triumphant return to Jerusalem is only part of the Easter Week story. 
Passover. Preparation for the Seder, from the Golden Haggadah. Additional 27210 f. 15

The Galileans, the pilgrim crowd, acclaimed Jesus, & the local Judeans did not. By Palm Sunday, many of the Jews were filled with hate & anger for Jesus. They wanted to see him stoned, calling Him a blasphemer, after offering proof of His Divinity during a winter visit to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Dedication. After this, Jesus went to Perea, where he was summoned to Bethany. There he raised Lazarus from the dead, a miracle which won Him renown among certain Pharisees; that they decided finally to end His life.

Jesus took refuge at Ephrem - returning 6 days before Passover to Bethany, & triumphantly entered Jerusalem. That evening, He left Jerusalem & returned Monday. He spent time with Gentiles in the Temple, & on Wednesday He left for the Mount of Olives. Here He told the apostles of the events of the next several days, including His impending death. He returned to Jerusalem on Thursday, to share the Last Supper with His apostles. He was subsequently arrested & tried. He was crucified at Calvary on Friday, outside the gates of Jerusalem. He was buried the same day, & arose three days later, on Easter Sunday.

Passover was only 4 days away when Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem.  He entered the city on the 10th day of the month. We can see the significance of this in Exodus 12:3, 5-6, which says, Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.. . ..Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

As Jesus was riding in and the people were crying “Hosanna in the highest,” symbolically selecting the paschal lamb for sacrifice.