As Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the unbroken colt of a donkey, a very large crowd gathered along the road. They spread their cloaks and palm branches on the road (hence the name ‘Palm Sunday’). About 450 years before this first Palm Sunday, the days’ events had been foretold by the prophet Zechariah when he said, “Everyone in Jerusalem, celebrate and shout! Your king has won a victory, and He is coming to you. He is humble and rides on a donkey; He comes on the colt of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
The crowd’s shouts of “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday were to change to “Crucify Him!” in a matter of days.
‘Maundy’ is from the Latin word for ‘command’. Jesus said, “I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you”. (John 13: 34)
Maundy Thursday commemorates the day when Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples, and also Jesus’ act of humility and service when He washed His disciples’ feet.
Some 700 years before Jesus was crucified on what we now call ‘Good Friday’, the following words were written,
“He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, He made us completely well. All of us were like sheep that had wandered off. We had each gone our own way, but the Lord gave Him the punishment we deserved. He was painfully abused, but He did not complain”. (Isaiah 53: 5-7)
On Sunday morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran to Simon Peter and to John and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb! We don’t know where they have put Him.” Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. They ran side by side, until the other disciple ran faster than Peter and got there first. He bent over and saw the strips of linen cloth lying inside the tomb, but he did not go in. When Simon Peter got there, he went into the tomb and saw the strips of cloth. He also saw the piece of cloth that had been used to cover Jesus’ face. It was rolled up and in a place by itself. The disciple who got there first then went into the tomb, and when he saw it, he believed. At that time Peter and the other disciple did not know that the Scriptures said Jesus would rise to life. (John 20:1-9)