I thought it would be interesting to put together the accounts of the day in Jesus’ life that we call Palm Sunday. Here is the story, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Bible text: English Standard Version.
- Nearing Bethphage and Bethany
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:1).
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1).
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet (Luke 19:28,29).
- Jesus sends two disciples to get a donkey
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once (Matthew 21:1-3).
Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately’” (Mark 11:1-3).
He sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it’” (Luke 19:29-31).
- Fulfilling Scripture
This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden’” (Matthew 21:4,5).
And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him (John 12:14-16).
- They found the donkey just as Jesus had told them
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them (Matthew 21:6).
And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it (Mark 11:4).
So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them (Luke 19:32).
- “The Lord has need of it”
And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go (Mark 11:5).
And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” (Luke 19:33,34).
- Jesus rides on the donkey
Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road (Matthew 21:8).
And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields (Mark 11:7).
And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road (Luke 19:35,36).
- Hosannas to the King
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9).
And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9,10).
As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19: 37,38).
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:12,13).
- The Pharisees in the crowd
And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:39,40).
- Jesus weeps over Jerusalem
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:41-44).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Matthew 23:37-39).
- The whole city was stirred up
And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:10,11).
- Jesus cleanses the Temple
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers” (Matthew 21:12-13).
And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers” (Luke 11:45,46).
- The blind and the lame are healed
And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them (Matthew 21:14).
- Indignant chief priests and scribes
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” (Matthew 21:15,16).
- Out of the mouth of infants
And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” (Matthew 21:16).
- Jesus spent the night in Bethany with the twelve
And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there (Matthew 21:17).
And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve (Mark 11:11).
Let’s make this Holy Week a week of prayer meditation. Open your heart and let God speak to you in your innermost being. Let the Holy Spirit work in your life to glorify Jesus. Exalt Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords. Make this week count for eternity!