Bethany/Mt. of Olives
Luke 10:38-42; 11:1-13; 19:28-44
John 11:1-44; 12:1-19
Garden of Gethsemane
House of Caiaphas
John 13–14; 20:19-23
Cross and Tomb
The route of our walking tour down the Mount of Olives toward the Old City wall on the east side of Jerusalem is called the “Palm Sunday” road. Jesus walked from Bethany (the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus) into Jerusalem (about three quarters of a mile) by traveling over the central ridge of the Mount of Olives and down to the city.
As we read in Scripture, the crowds hailed him as King David’s successor to the throne of Israel on Palm Sunday. This particular day was especially significant on the Jewish festival calendar. It was the day lambs were being selected for sacrifice on Passover, which would be observed later that week (Exodus 12:3-6).
As you make the Palm Sunday walk today, think about the Lamb of God “without blemish” who was coming voluntarily for sacrifice at Passover. On this day of selection, Jesus was offering himself to the world he loved so much in the city he loved so much. His timing says, “Choose me. Let me be your Lamb of sacrifice for your deliverance.”
But they wanted a King, a powerful military general on a white war horse, not a humble sacrifice on a lowly donkey. They rightly chose him as messianic King on that day, but quickly rejected him when he did not deliver political victory. He had chosen instead first to give the world what it needed most—victory over sin and death, a Savior.