By Dianne E. Butts:
I recently learned more about Palm Sunday, and suddenly I’m finding God in Palm Sunday in a whole new way.
In preparation for the first Passover (See the article, A Feast to Remember) God told Moses:
“on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household… The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect… Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight” (Exodus 12:3, 5, 6, NIV).
People chose their lamb on the tenth for Passover, which is always the 14th day of the Jewish month Nissan. So they had to keep and care for the lamb four days. During that time the Priests inspected the lambs to insure they were without defect.
Fast-forwarding to the time of Jesus: “Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead” (John 12:1-2).
Six days before the Passover would be the 8th of Nissan. Hebrew days start in the evening, so this was the evening of the 8th going into the 9th. “The next day” would be the 9th going into the 10th.
John tells us:
“The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem” John 12:12.
All the sheep for the Temple sacrifice were raised near Bethlehem to the south of Jerusalem. Before Passover, the sheep were brought through the Sheep Gate on the north side of the Temple for inspection, with the High Priest leading the way.
During this time the people waved palm branches and sang from the “Hallel” (Psalm 113 – 118) At this point, specifically they would these sing Psalm 118:24-26, including these words:
“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
“O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.”
Meanwhile the Lord Jesus, on His way into town from Bethany to the east, came over the Mount of Olives and into the Eastern Gate with people singing the same thing to Him!
In the following days, the priests also “inspected” the Lamb of God:
“…the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ (Mark 11:27-28)
“…they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words” (Mark 12:13).
“Then the Sadducees… came to him with a question” (Mark 12:18).
“One of the teachers of the law… asked him…” (Mark 12:28).
“…And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions” (Mark 12:34).
The Lamb of God was carefully inspected and revealed to be perfect. Whether they knew it or not, the priests and the people were literally finding God in Palm Sunday.
©Dianne E. Butts. Dianne is a freelance writer, author, and screenwriter. Her latest book is Deliver Me (http://bit.ly/sWWaZR) is for those in an unplanned pregnancy or with one in their past. Her first book Dear America (http://amzn.to/DearAmerica) has just been republished for Kindle. Follow her writing at www.DeliverMeBook.blogspot.com
Enjoy this video on YouTube from the movie, The Gospel of John: