May 16. Jesus Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Mt. 21:1-11; Mk. 11:1-11; Lk. 19:29-44; Jn. 12:12-19

The next day (Sunday) after Mary had anointed Jesus for His burial, He and the disciples were in Bethphage. He sent two of them to get a colt for Him to ride into Jerusalem. This was to be a colt on which no one had ridden. If anyone objected to their taking it, they were to say that the Lord had need of it and permission would be granted. After returning with the colt, the disciples laid their clothes on him to make a saddle for Jesus.

As Jesus began to ride into Jerusalem, great multitudes followed and others met Him on the road. It has been estimated that as many as three million people sometimes attended the Passover. People were spreading their clothes and palm branches on the road in front of Him as He traveled.

Palm branches signified triumph and victory and the people were crying out praises to the “King of Israel.” They felt in their hearts and minds that Jesus, the Christ was their king and that He would deliver them from the Romans.

Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the colt fulfilled a prophecy of Zechariah which stated, “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

As Jesus approached Jerusalem, He began to weep over the condition of the city. He revealed that because of their wickedness, the city and its people would be destroyed.

After entering the city and temple, Jesus looked around at all things. The day had been long and emotional and the hour was late, so He and the apostles returned to Bethany, which was located on the Mount of Olives, to spend the night.