I am wondering about 4 events that took place before Jesus had died. We know after He did it was the Third Day. He was brought from the Dead. However I am curious to know the times and events how much time elapsed from each event.
First is that the palm leaves laid down to Jesus as He rode through the city. Did this event really take place on a Sunday? Why would it be on Sunday since the observation of being a Christian was not established as of yet? Would it be so common to have such a celebration on Sunday of the week? Could it have happened on any day of the week? .
I find the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem to be a very dynamic occurence, and possibly one of the sadder days of Jewish history. My apologies ahead of time for making this so long as I am going to start with some history about the Jewish celebration of that time.
Passover is a Holy day and included in the commands is the command that the Jewish people were to travel to Jerusalem for Passover.
Deut 16:5 You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your town which the Lord your God is giving you: 6 but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name,
Jerusalem during Jesus time had a population of about 600,000, and during the time of Passover would swell to as many as 3 million people. For the month before, the citizens of Jerusalem would be very busy preparing Jerusalem for the arriving pilgrims and for Passover. According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah was to arrive in Jerusalem around the time of Passover and would enter the Eastern gate, nearest the Temple which stood highest, gleeming white with gold. So the pilgrims would all want to enter the eastern gate as they arrived in Jerusalem.
Also, as a part of the celebration, they would have a grand march starting at Bethpage, winding down the Mt of Olives, thru the Kidron valley and up to the Eastern gate, and during the week before, the Pharisees would lead pilgims, practicing this march which including singing the songs of ascent (Psalms).
Because this was the path the Messiah would take to enter Jerusalem, many people had buried their dead along the path to the Eastern gate. They thought that when the Messiah comes, the dead would be resurrected, and so it was a popular place for the graves as the dead would be first resurrected and seeing the Messiah.
There was a command that a person who was made to be ritually unclean due to coming in contact with the dead, or graves could not celebrate Passover in a ritually unclean state. As the people walked the path to the eastern gate, accidently stepping on a grave would cause the person to be ritually unclean so before the week before Passover, the citizens of Jerusalem would go along this path and whitewash the graves so they could be seen easily and no one would accidently step on them and become ritually unclean for Passover.
Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem, most likely on a Sunday, as they would not have arrived on the Sabbath, but would have arrived at the time of the pilgrims arriving in Jerusalem, and with those practicing the march and singing. So eliminating the Sabbath, but within 5-6 days prior to Passover.
Matt. 32:1 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethpage, at the Mount of Olives....
Jesus at this point did something unusual. He intentionally sent his disciples to get a donkey. This was the only prophesy I know of which He intentionally fulfilled.
Zech 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daught of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey
According to the Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 98a:
R. Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven34 whilst [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, thy king cometh unto thee … ] lowly, and riding upon an ass! — if they are meritorious, [he will come] with the clouds of heaven;36 if not, lowly and riding upon an ass.
So in Judaism it was believed that if the people were good, the Messiah would arrive in the clouds and if not good, he would arrive, riding on a donkey.
When the Messiah was to arrive thru the eastern gate, and go up to the Temple, the leadership was to recognize him by giving him the Messianic greeting. Psalm 118:26 ' Blessed Is the one who comes in the name of the Lord; We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.'
So Jesus and the disciples are riding down the winding path from Bethpage on the Mt of Olives to the Eastern gate. Again, for timing this could not be on the Sabbath. but on a Sunday. Thousands of pilgrims are arriving and thousands are practicing singing the psalms for the march later. When they get to the Easter gate, a pharisee who is observing things, sees Jesus riding on a donkey, which he believes says, they are not worthy of the Messiah. The people are singing the Messianic greeting, and laying down palms, in the fashion of greeting the triumphant kings, but Jesus is on a donkey. The Pharisee attempts to silence the people from giving Jesus the Messianic greeting. But Jesus responds the if the people were silent, the rock themselves would sing the Messianic greeting, welcoming the Messiah Jesus into Jerusalem as was to occur.
Jesus goes up to the Temple, and instead of being greeted with the Messianic greeting, is questioned. It was at this point, Jesus responded that the leaders were white washed tombs. Well, they knew what that meant as the way to the eastern gate had all of the tombs white washed because the dead mens bones would render anyone who came in contact, ritually unclean and unable to partake of Passover.
Had the leaders recognized Jesus as Messiah, according to the Mosaic law, the people are to obey the judges and would have accepted Jesus as Messiah as the Nation of Israel. Since the leaders rejected Jesus as Messiah, only some individuals have believed.
Luke 19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it 42 saying, 'If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace. Bur now they have been hidden from you eyes'.
Luke 19:47 And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him
He was in Jerusalem for several days teaching, and then left Jerusalem in the evening and slept on the Mt. of Olives. From His arrival, on 1 day (Sunday), there are 3 more days of teaching (Mon - Wed) and then He sent His disciples to prepared the Passover (Thursday).