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Entrance of the Lord Jerusalem

(Palm Sunday)

On the last sunday of the Great Lent, the Church remembers the triumphant entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The day before, on Saturday, is the remembrance of the great miracle which had recently been wrought in Bethany - the resurrection of Lazarus, who had been dead and buried four days in his tomb. Many of the people, having witnessed this miracle, believed in Christ and were awaiting His coming into Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. But the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees wanted to have Jesus killed because they envied Him, and so they gave an order to be told when Jesus would come into Jerusalem.

The time of Christ's suffering was nearing. Just six days before Passover, when Mary, the sister of the resurrected Lazarus, poured expensive myrrh on Jesus' feet, some of His disciples were displeased at such waste, thinking that the money from the sale of this myrrh could have been used to help the poor. Knowing what lay in store for Him in Jerusalem, Christ told His disciples that with this anointing His body was being prepared for burial. He spoke at great length about the suffering that was drawing near for Him. Finally Jesus gathered His disciples to go to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. "When they drew nigh unto Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, 'Go into the village opposite you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them unto Me. And if any man say aught unto you, ye shall say, "The Lord hath need of them," and straightway he will send them.' . . . And the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. And they brought the ass and the colt and saddled them with their clothes, and they set Him thereon" (Matt. 21:1-3; 6-7). Coming near Jerusalem, Jesus wept over the city that was doomed to be destroyed for not recognizing the time that God came to save it.

Many in Jerusalem found out that Jesus, the one who had resurrected Lazarus-who had been dead four days - was nearing. "And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way, and others cut down branches from the trees and strewed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and followed, cried out, saying, 'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!' And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, 'Who is this?' And the multitude said, 'This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.' And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and seats of those who sold doves, and said unto them, 'It is written, "My house shall be called the house of prayer," but ye have made it into a den for thieves'

And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, 'Hosanna to the Son of David,' they were sore displeased, and said unto Him, 'Hearest thou what these say?' and Jesus said unto them 'Yea, have ye never read, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou has perfected praise"?'" (Matt. 21:8-16).

In the next days Jesus Christ taught in the temple. He spent the nights outside the city. The chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders of the people looked for an opportunity to kill Him, but they could not because all the people were around Him listening to His teachings.

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