Probably the most important thing to understand about Palm Sunday is the fact that on this day, back in 33 AD, prophecy concerning the Lord's earthly manifestation was fulfilled. According to John 12:12-13, it was on this "fifth day" leading up to the Jewish Passover Seder [meal] of Nisan 14,  that a great crowd had gathered in Jerusalem to welcome the Lord Jesus into their midst with jubilant shouts of praise and triumphant waving of palm branches. This was in accordance with Jewish tradition whereby magnificent events were often commemorated by the waving of palm branches, amongst other things, before the Lord of hosts. This great crowd of Jews and Gentiles was fully convinced that Jesus Christ was the promised Lord and Savior prophesied by Zachariah, Isaiah, King David and others. The unbelievers were astounded as they stood watching the Lord as He rode triumphantly into the city, mounted on a donkey and the jubilant crowd as it hailed him as their Lord, prompting one of them to say resignedly, "Look how the whole world has gone after him."
What is Palm SundayEdit
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday.  The feast commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem in the days leading up to his Passion. [Also See Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44 and John 12:12-19]. It is also called Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion. 
How Was Palm Sunday Viewed by the Early Christians
For early and later Christians, Palm Sunday [or Christ’s Triumphal entry into Jerusalem] is the day when God was revealed [to both Jews and non-Jews] through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and this revealing was seen as a great triumph over evil and sin.
Although there is no official record of the early church's outward observance of “Palm Sunday,” the Bible reveals that Christ's apostles and disciples viewed it as the divine fulfillment of biblical prophecy. The early Christians saw it as the day of salvation for all men—-a day when God kept His promise of centuries past to return to His people. The Apostle James, in Acts 15:13-18, expresses the early Church’s sentiment concerning Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem when he refers to it as the day when God will “build again the tabernacle of David” [a reference to the Feast of Tabernacles when Palm branches [lulavs] were ceremoniously waved], and a day when the “residue of men” as well as the Gentiles would seek the Lord.
James thereby says to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem some time after Christ’s Ascension, 13. “… Men and brethren, harken unto to me: 14. Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written 16. "After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17. That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" [Acts 15:13-18]
Palm Sunday was no doubt viewed as a day when the world could rejoice knowing that their deliverance was near--a day of triumph indeed!
How is Palm Sunday Celebrated by Christians TodayEdit
On the Christian calendar, Palm Sunday is followed by Maundy Thursday which commemorates the Last Supper and Christ’s betrayal, Good Friday which commemorates His arrest, trial and crucifixion death, and “Easter Sunday”, the day when Jesus rose from the grave. [Palm Sunday, was celebrated on April 5th of the year, 2009 amd will be celebrated on March 28th of the year 2010.]
Christians observe this day by waving palm branches [or willows] to simulate the waving of palm branches during Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem in 33 AD.
The Very Reverend Paul Lazor explains the Palm Sunday celebration in his church. He states, “On Palm Sunday palm and willow branches are blessed in the Church. We take them in order to raise them up and greet the King and Ruler of our life: Jesus Christ. We take them in order to reaffirm our baptismal pledges. As the One who raised Lazarus and entered Jerusalem to go to His voluntary Passion stands in our midst, we are faced with the same question addressed to us at baptism: "Do you accept Christ?" We give our answer by daring to take the branch and raise it up: "I accept Him as King and God!" 
Jewish Roots of Palm SundayEdit
Like most Christian celebrations, Palm Sunday is deeply rooted in Jewish tradition. It was a customary for the ancient Israelites to honor all blessings of God through sacred assemblies. This was in accordance with the guidelines established under the Old Covenant. Leviticus --- states, “1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. [See Leviticus 23:40 and Revelation 7:9 
Sacred Festivals in Jewish TraditionEdit
A closer look at the sacred feasts below show how significantly the waving of palm fronds ties into Jewish tradition. Although in John we read Jesus made appearances at each of the sacred festivals of the Jews [being of the tribe of Judah] teaching wisdom to the people and performing many miraculous signs, it wasn’t until the festival of Passover, just days before his arrest and crucifixion, that He made His last and triumphant entry.
- 9. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 10. "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest. 11. And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf, an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. 13. And the meat offering thereof shall be two-tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. 14. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Feast of Weeks
- 15. "And shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete. 16. Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a a new meat offering unto the LORD. 17. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD. 18. And ye shall offer with the bread seven male lambs, without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD. 19. Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year, for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20. And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21. And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughtout your generations.
- 22. "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: Thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God."
Feast of Tabernacles
- 33. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying 34. "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 35. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
- …39. "Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 41. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
Jewish Prophecies Foretelling the Lord’s Day [Jerusalem 33 AD]Edit
Zachariah’s prophecy tells us that the Lord will be revealed in the last days and He will bring salvation to the world. [The prophecy also explains that the Lord [the Christ] will appear during a sacred Feast of the Jews in Jerusalem and reveal Himself to the Jews, telling of his mission to bring peace and freedom.]. A most important symbolic reference to Jesus in this prophecy is the “new wine” which will come to symbolize the blood Christ shed on Good Friday [during His Crucifixion] in order to redeem mankind from sin and death. [See John 12:23]
The prophecy at Zechariah chapter 9:9-17and reads:
- 9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion;
- Shout, O Daughter of Jerusalem:
- behold, thy king cometh unto thee:
- he is just and having salvation;
- lowly, and riding upon an ass,
- and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.
- 10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,
- and the horse from Jerusalem,
- and the battle bow shall be cut off:
- and he shall speak peace unto the heathen:
- and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea,
- and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
- 11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant
- I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
- 12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope:
- even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;
- 13 When I have bent Judah for me,
- filled the bow with Ephraim,
- and raised up thy sons, O Zion,
- against thy sons, O Greece,
- and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
- 14 And the LORD shall be seen over them;
- and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning.
- And the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet,
- and shall go with whirlwinds of the south,
- 15 The LORD of hosts shall defend them;
- and they shall devour,
- and subdue with sling stones;
- and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine;
- and they shall be filled like bowls,
- and as the corners of the altar.
- 16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day
- as the flock of his people:
- for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as ensign upon his land
- 17 For how great is his goodness,
- and how great is his beauty!
- corn shall make the young men cheerful,
- and new wine the maids.
Isaiah's prophecies concerning the Day of the Lord are found at Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
- 2 The people that walked in darkness
- have seen a great light:
- they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death,
- upon them hath the light shined.
- 6 For unto us a child is born,
- unto us a son is given:
- and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
- And his shall be called
- Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
- The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
- 7 Of the increase of his government and peace
- there shall be no end,
- upon the throne of David,
- and upon his kingdom,
- to order it, and establish it
- with judgment and with justice
- from henceforth even for ever.
- The zeal of the LORD of hosts
- will perform this.
Another important prophecy concerning the salvation of the Lord is stated in Isaiah 12
- 1 And in that day thou shalt say,
- "O LORD, I will praise thee:
- though wast angry with me,
- thine anger is turned away,
- and thou comfortedst me.
- 2 Behold, God is my salvation;
- I will trust and not be afraid:
- for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song;
- he also is become my salvation."
- 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water
- out of the wells of salvation.
- 4 And in that day shall ye say,
- "Praise the LORD, call upon his name;
- declare his doings among the people,
- make mention that his name is exalted.
- 5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things;
- this is known in all the earth.
- 6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion:
- for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."
Isaiah 60 expounds even further on this prophecy highlighting God's promises for His people.
- 1 "Arise, shine, for thy light is come,
- and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
- 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
- and gross darkness the people:
- but the LORD shall arise upon thee,
- and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
- 13 "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee,
- the fir tree, the pine tree and the box together,
- to beautify the place of my sanctuary;
- and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
- 14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee;
- and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet;
- and they shall call thee, The City of the LORD,
- The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
- 15 "Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated,
- so that no man went through thee,
- I will make thee an eternal exellency
- a joy of many generations.
- 16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles,
- and shalt suck the breast of kings:
- And thou shalt know that I, the LORD, am your Saviour,
- and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
- 17 For brass I will bring gold,
- and for iron I will bring silver,
- and for wood brass,
- and for stones iron:
- I will also make thy officers peace
- and thine exactors righteousness.
- 18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land,
- wasting nor destruction within thy borders;
- but thou shalt call your walls Salvation
- and thy gates Praise.
- 19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day;
- neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee:
- but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light,
- and thy God thy glory.
Prophecy by King David
Psalm 118 by King David is appropriately recited on the Holy day that looks forward to the Lord’s revealing to Israel.
- 1 O Give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:
- because his mercy endureth for ever.
- 2 Let Israel now say,
- that his mercy endureth for ever.
- 3 Let the house of Aaron now say,
- that his mercy endureth for ever.
- 4 Let them now that fear the LORD say,
- that his mercy endureth for ever.
- 5 I called upon the LORD in distress:
- the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.
- 6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear:
- What can man do unto me?
- 7 The LORD taketh my part with them that help me:
- therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
- 8 It is better to trust in the LORD
- than to to put confidence in man.
- 9 It is better to trust in the LORD
- than to put confidence in princes.
- 10 All nations compassed me about:
- but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.
- 11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about:
- but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
- 12 They compassed me about like bees;
- they are quenched as the fire of thorns:
- for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
- 13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall:
- but the LORD helped me.
- 14 The LORD is my strength and song,
- and is become my salvation.
- 15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation
- is in the tabernacles of the righteous:
- The right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
- 16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted:
- the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
- 17 I shall not die, but live,
- and declare the works of the LORD.
- 18 The LORD hath chastened me sore:
- but he hath not given me over unto death.
- 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness:
- I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
- 20 This gate of the LORD,
- into which the righteous shall enter.
- 21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me,
- and art become my salvation.
- 22 The stone which the builders refused
- is become the head stone of the corner.
- 23 This is the LORD's doing;
- it is marvelous in our eyes.
- 24 This is the day which the LORD hath made;
- we will rejoice and be glad in it.
- 25 Save now, I beseech, O LORD:O LORD,
- I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
- 26 Blessed be he who cometh in the name of the LORD:
- we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD
- 27 God is the LORD,
- which hath shewed us light:
- bind the sacrifice with cords,
- even unto the horns of the altar.
- 28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee:
- Thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
- 29 O Give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:
- for his mercy endureth for ever.
Events Leading Up to the Day of Jesus' Triumphal EntryEdit
John shows us how Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the day that Christians refer to as "Palm Sunday" was not a coincidence, but a well-planned event. In fact, everything that Jesus did from the start of His public ministry [and perhaps as early as age 12] was purposely designed to bring this day into fulfillment.
God was continually revealing Himself through Jesus Christ by the miracles that Jesus wrought among the people. Christ taught these truths first to the Jews during their sacred festivals which themselves always pointed to the Truth about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit through the priestly rituals. While many came to believe in Him, others still doubted. The raising of Lazarus from the dead was a great turning point in Christ’s ministry, and opened the way for many who had been blinded by the teachings of the Pharisees [and by tradition] to “see” the Lord of glory. This, according to the book of John, was the Lord Jesus’ last earth-shattering miracle that opened the eyes of the great crowd of witnesses as to who He really was. It directly preceded Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Christ's Teachings during the Feast of Tabernacles [John Chapter 7] The Lord appeared at the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles and taught the people many truths about Himself and His Father Yahweh who had sent Him forth. He made repeated references to the symbolic rituals that accompanied this feast and explained how they all pointed to Him. Jesus, during His teaching, explained how he Himself was the fountain of Living Water which is the Holy Spirit (see vs.37-39) who Christ pours out upon those who thirst. [Jesus is the giver of living water (Holy Spirit). See John 4:10, 4:14] He explained that he was the Light of the world as symbolized by the giant menorah in the courtyard of the women (8:12). As a result of His teaching, many put faith in Him.
The apostle John also makes reference to the Lord at the start of his Gospel when he says, at John 1:4, "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." For the Lord’s apostles knew the true meaning of the festival lights.
Note: John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brethren therefore said unto him, "Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest." John 7:14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
John 8:12 12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:1-2 1 Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
Christ's Teaching during the Feast of Dedication [Festival of Lights/Chanukah]Edit
[John, Chapter 10]
This feast celebrates the re-dedication of the Jerusalem Temple to the Jews following the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek ruler Antiochus. In 165 BC, the Greek Empire, under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, imposed Greek philosophy and religion on Israel and throughout the Empire. They built an image of their god Zeus on top of the Temple altar and desecrated the temple by sacrificing pigs. The Jewish revolt led by Judah Maccabee, in keeping with all of Yahweh’s miraculous deliverances, succeeded in driving out the Greeks, thus leading to the purification and redication of the Temple.
The Bible verses read:
- 22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, "How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly."
- 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all; no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one."
- 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?"
Chanukah is celebrated for eight days. The main celebration is the lighting of candles, or lamps in every home which accounts for its other title, “Feast of Lights”. During the ceremonies, a nine candle holder (The Chanukiah) is used, with one extra candle being lit every day. It is important to understand the ninth candle which is called "the servant" (ha shammash) candle. It is used to light the other eight because the eight are set apart solely for the purpose of showing that you are commemorating the miracle of eight days of light provided by GOD to rededicate the sanctuary.
[Christians see Christ in the ninth "servant candle" used in the lighting ceremony. Christ is the suffering servant who came to be the light of the World. [See Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:6, Isaiah 60:1, Luke 2:32, John 1:4,9, John 8:12).
Christ's Resurrection of LazarusEdit
[John, Chapter 11)
Lazarus' resurrection was the culminating miracle that made those who witnessed it unable to remain in darkness. It was seen by many eye-witnesses, many of whom were still in the grip of uncertainty. Having seen Lazarus’ resurrection, they began witnessing to others about Christ, and made up the bulk of the great crowd gathered at Jerusalem that welcomed the Lord.
The Bible states:
- 1 "Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (It was that Mary which annointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick."
- 4 When Jesus heard that he said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
[John, Chapter 11 continued]
- 38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39 Jesus said "Take ye away the stone". Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, "Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days."
- 40 Jesus saith unto her, "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God?"
- 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me."
- 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, "Loose him, and let him go."
Christ's Presence at the Festival of Passover/Palm Sunday [Jesus’ Triumphal March]Edit
[John, Chapter 12]
John's gospel informs us that a large crowd of believers lined the streets of Jerusalem; and upon seeing the Lord riding into the city on a donkey, they welcomed Him by shouting, “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” [Psalms 118:25-26] and went spreading Palm branches and robes before Him as He passed by. For this great crowd of believers, the prophecy of Zechariah was being fulfilled before their very eyes and they realized that Jesus Christ was their long-awaited King and Lord. They believed that they would be saved [militarily, for some] at last, in accordance with God’s promises. This overwhelming adulation and praise of Jesus was particularly disturbing to the religious leaders who were very fearful and jealous of Jesus. They even demanded that Jesus silence the crowd, but he told them that even if the crowd was silenced, "the stones would cry out".
One should note that the day before before Christ entered Jerusalem he stopped in Bethany at the house of Lazarus. This is when Mary Magdalene annointed His feet with perfumed oil [nard] "in view of the day of [His] burial" [John 12:4,7]. The start of the account reads, "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor" [John 12:1-2].
The biblical account at John 12:12 describes the Lord's Triumphal entry as follows:
12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried,
- "Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. 14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon: as it is written,
- 15 "Fear not, daughter of Sion:
- behold, thy king cometh,
- sitting on an ass's colt."
- 16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
- 17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. 18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world has gone after him!"
Meaning of Passover
Passover celebrates the time when Jews were delivered from slavery and death by the hand of God. Embedded in the festive celebrations of this Feast of Passover are the themes of salvation and redemption.[Also See Day of Atonement] Although most Jews do not formally acknowledge this fifth day before Passover as the “Day of the Lord” Jesus as Christians do, Jesus’ presence there in 33 AD was hailed by a great crowd of Jews who did believe in Him.
The Passover Feast in Scripture
Leviticus 23:4-8 reads: These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein."
When one reads John’s account of the Lord’s final moments at the Passover celebration in Jerusalem, and of the reaction of the crowd to Him, both at the start of His arrival and at the end, he cannot help but feel a deep, unexplainable sorrow about the way things turned out. The inability of the people to understand the significance of His presence, even at the very end, because of their incurable blindness, though very grievous, is made understandable by John’s reference to the prophet Isaiah. John tells us that many wouldn’t grasp the essence of what He was saying to them for it had been prophesied that they wouldn’t [John 12:38-40]. John points to the Isaiah’s when he writes, 37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake,
- "Lord, who hath believed our report?
- and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
- 39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
- 40 "He hath blinded their eyes,
- and hardened their heart;
- that they should not see with their eyes,
- nor understand with their heart,
- and be converted, and I should heal them."
Nevertheless, Christ mercifully continues to explain His presence to them to the very end with the memorable words, “:35…Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you. :36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light." John then tells us that Christ left and hid himself from them. [John 12:35-36]
- ↑ The Gospel of John (e.g., 19:14, 19:31, 19:42) implies that Nisan 14 was the day that Jesus was executed in Jerusalem. The Synoptic Gospels place the execution on the first day of Unleavened Bread (Matthew 26:17), usually understood as Nisan 15 given a seven-day feast (Leviticus 23:6), leading to holdings of contradictory chronology.
- ↑ Easter is the most important annual religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to Christian scripture, Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day of his crucifixion. Christians celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day or Easter Sunday (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday), two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday. The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to be between AD 26 and AD 36. Easter also refers to the season of the church year called Eastertide or the Easter Season. Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day but now officially lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost.