From Palm Branches to Thorns? By Lane Jordan Burday

They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21: 7-9)

The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is a very holy week. It is Jesus’ last week before His death.

The crowds on Palm Sunday were ecstatic! They saw Jesus approach Jerusalem, and they hurriedly laid palm branches down on his donkey’s path to show their love and honor for Him.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).

However, in just five days, the crowd shifted from giving praise and honor to calling for Jesus’ death, a striking change in the city’s heart.

Why did that happen?

Perhaps one reason is that they saw Jesus as the long-awaited King who would deliver them from the Romans’ rule. When they realized He was not going to get rid of the evil Romans or set up His kingdom immediately, they became angry. They also may have disliked Jesus’s insistence on repentance.

Even Jesus’s own disciple, Judas, betrayed Jesus to push Him into the role of deliverer for the people.

Another reason for the sudden shift is that the religious and political leaders opposed Jesus. Over the course of Jesus’ ministry, His teachings had alienated and angered the Pharisees, the scribes, the Herodians, and the Sadducees. Not only did Jesus point out their extreme hypocrisy on many occasions, but He also claimed to be God, which was blasphemy to the unbelieving teachers of the law (Mark 14:60-64). The religious leaders wanted to destroy Jesus. Only His death would satisfy them and their coveted positions in the Jewish community. They were also very afraid that the people would continue to follow Jesus and their status and money would end.

Perhaps another reason is these religious leaders normally stay close to the Temple and their homes. They were not out in the countryside like the people who lived and worked there—the ones who were the first to see Jesus riding on the colt of the donkey. By the time the week progressed, these leaders were probably getting a group together to help them with their case to Pilate. So, it’s quite possible that the crowd, gathered before Pilate at such an early hour, had been assembled by the Jewish leaders and were not the original people who had praised Him.

But no matter the real reasons, Jesus endured both praises and cruelty in just one week.

Where are you on Monday after going to church on Sunday? It’s easy to feel good after hearing a wonderful message. But are you still upbeat and walking with God on Monday through Saturday? Or are we just like the people during Jesus’ last week—not standing up for what is right but going along with the crowd?

I pray that this Easter week, you will see Jesus as your deliverer daily. And that you, with all your heart and mind and soul and spirit, want to walk with Him daily. For He is our King, and we will reign with Him forever!


Lane Jordan-Burday is the Pearls of Promise Ministries Prayer Co-Coordinator; POP Talk TV and Radio Co-Host and Writer. She is also is an award-winning and best-selling author of over ten adult and children’s books. She is a speaker with Stonecroft Ministries, seminar leader, professional life coach, Bible teacher, and artist. She served as the Associate Producer for the program In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. She prays for women to come to know the Lord is God!

Lane’s latest book, Evangeline, is a historical fiction based on the book of Esther. You can reach Lane at: Her website is:

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