Come Follow Me LDS- Easter, Episode 1- Palm Sunday

– What might the ‘palms’ really mean?

– Bethany as religious community for ‘Les Miserables’
– Jesus is the God King and Suffering Servant from the Temple Drama of the ancient Israelites.

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Easter, Episode 1: Palm Sunday

 

all right this is episode one of our

Easter and Holy Week series this is Palm

Sunday here we go

okay so this is episode one again this

is Palm Sunday it is the first episode

of eight that we’re going to do for the

Holy Week which is the week of Easter

when my wife was pregnant with our

second child she put together a book

that had each of the days of the Holy

Week what the Catholics called the holy

week or de la semana santa and in that

book each day was outlined everything

that had happened and it had some

references to some general authority

quotes and to scripture and we did

that we’ve done that every year for

Easter has been a tradition for us so in

place of a family study scripture study

we would go over these each and every

day so my thought is is that on these

episodes of course you can run through

all of them once they’re done but my

thought is that you could take each

episode on the appropriate day and

listen to that episode and learn

something more about what happened on

that day

of la semana santa the Holy Week and

hopefully as I hope with each episode

here you’re able to get a clearer

understanding of what might be happening

here this is a very rich meaningful week

being the last week of Christ’s life and

a lot is brought together in the story

of Christ and the author’s make sure

that they are pulling from a lot of

different prophecies to show that

they’re being completed and trying to

create this this narrative to help us

understand

the most poignant and precious week

really of human history so let’s start

here I’m going to start in John and we’re

going to look at John twelve and this is

how it starts out it says then Jesus six

days before the Passover came to Bethany

where Lazarus was which had been dead

whom he raised from the dead so this is

maybe right at the time it apparently or

close to the time that Jesus had raised

Lazarus from the dead this had just

happened and he is in Bethany this is

where Lazarus was and Lazarus is the

brother of the sisters being Mary and

Martha so this family these siblings are

in Bethany and Jesus comes to them

raises Lazarus it says that Jesus loves

this family loves these three

siblings and spends time with them and

he oftentimes goes to Bethany so let’s

talk a little bit about what Bethany is

and it helps us understand especially

for Palm Sunday what is happening here

on this first day of the Holy Week so

Bethany is a what appears to be a place

of refuge a city of refuge it may be

that it was a place for sick people to

go to it may have been for the poor and

others who might have been afflicted and

so it is situated eighteen hundred yards

away from the actual walled city of

Jerusalem or the reason that is

important is because Jerusalem being the

holy city and a lot of cities at this

time would have done the same type of

thing being that it’s a holy city in

Jerusalem where the temple is around the

city think of it as almost like a dry

moat there would be an area of purity

where if you were sick if you had

leprosy

or other issues you could not live with

in this area about 1,800 yards around

the city of Jerusalem and so Bethany is

right where it should be outside of that

area just outside of that area you know

maybe a mile and a half or more

from the walls of Jerusalem so it’s

also a place where if you were a

Galilean like Jesus and many of his

disciples here his apostles if you were

a Galilean and you did not want to come

straight down south

coming to Jerusalem for the festivals

for example or to do business or

whatever it might be you might go to the

east side of the Jordan River and come

down south on the east side of the

Jordan River and end up at Bethany and

that could be a place where you would

stop so they’ve done a lot of

archaeological work there and they have

dug up a number of also areas where they

have a lot of names of people that were

there and it appears that it’s very

possible and maybe likely that this was

a mostly Galilean community and so it

would have been a basically the last

stop for someone coming down that non

Samaritan route so they didn’t have to

go through Samaria for a Galilean to

come down south on the east of the

Jordan Jerusalem’s on the west of the

Jordan and it’d be your last stop before

you would come into Jerusalem and so

this would be a normal place for them to

be and we hear more about Bethany here

during this week but Bethany basically

means there’s a lot of different

interpretations given to this this

village here but it seems the most

likely meaning of Bethany is basically

the house of affliction or the house of

the poor or the poorhouse

and so this would be a place where you

would bring your sick so a lot of people

bring their sick and they might it might

be from areas out in the desert and the

wilderness it might even be from inside

Jerusalem they need to take them out for

purity reasons and take them out to

Bethany and here they would be taken

care of

there would be people there that might

be dedicated to helping the poor and to

helping the afflicted and the sick and

that may very well be what Mary and

Martha are doing there they may be kind

of humanitarian people you know and

they’re there to act as kind of a nurse

or to health care individuals to help

people that are there and this is where

Lazarus was as well their brother and

it’s where Christ ends up raising him

from the dead so he was sick we also

learned about Simon the leper who is in

Bethany the leper is in Bethany someone

who is sick and so as Christ would maybe

come toward Jerusalem or even be in

Jerusalem and then maybe take a break

from inside the city he would go out to

Bethany which would have been a place of

refuge and maybe even a kind of a

religious center where they would bring

in these types of people I think of the

term I think of Bethany I think of the

term the French term lame is a table

right lame is a table is the book

from Victor Hugo the musical and the

fabulous musical and so I think

about that term this is kind of like

maybe we’re lame is a table would have

gone the miserable people and to try

and find some refuge and some help and

healing and it what a natural place for

Jesus to go to also here in Bethany

while Jesus is there we have the story

of Mary and Martha where Mary takes the

anointing oil and puts it on

feet and wipes it with her hair and

anoints Jesus and I think that this

could be a it’s been discussed that this

could be a foreshadowing of in a sense

it’s like a rebirth if you look back at

Psalm 110 which is a royal kingly

Melchizedek remember Melchizedek means

king of righteousness and Jesus is the

new Melchizedek where this is maybe

where he’s being born again as the as

the new king and that would make sense

with this temple drama that used to

occur in ancient Israel and so she uses

this anointing oil that fills the house

with this odor which would also be like

the frankincense that is burned in in

front of the veil and also inside of the

Holy of Holies and so it’s a kind of an

allusion to that it’s a temple setting

that we’re talking about happening here

and throughout the entire week really

and of course Judas Iscariot is there he

says what are you doing this is really

expensive oil we could sell this and

give it to the poor and of course it

says that he has the bag so we know with

a character of Judas and what maybe he

was thinking perhaps who knows is well

that’s worth some money that could be a

little bit more money for me maybe we

can give some of that to the poor but

maybe there’s some for me I don’t

know but it does say it does point out

that he had the moneybag with him Jesus

responds to this and he says then

said Jesus let her alone against the day

of my burial

she annoys his feet there’s some

leftover and now this is going to be for

his burial so again we’ve talked about

the veils if you go and look at the veil

episode that I’ve done this is the woman

Mary who will be there for his birth as

the king here this is a representation

of being born again where a woman would

be and then at his death

and his leaving immortality where a

woman would be also and so she would be

the one that would be anointing him at

the birth and anointing him at his death

as well but his response is interesting

because says for the poor always you

have with you but me you have not always

and a lot of people are perplexed

perplexed by this a little bit but

remember we’re in the city of refuge and

so they’re there they’re surrounded by

the poor right now everybody around them

is the poor and the afflicted in the

sick and so he’s saying the poor you

always have with you because you work

here and the poor are always here this

is the city of affliction these are

named is a table that are that are all

here but me you only have now and this

anointing is for the representation of

the king where I’m being born again here

we’ll go through the procession and then

we’ll be buried as with the anointing

oil as well and being that it’s so close

to Jerusalem and Christ has just

recently resurrected Lazarus from the

dead and everybody knew the Lazarus had

well this problem he was dead and Christ

four days later came and rose him from

the dead and he’s alive now and so

instead of trying to learn more about

Christ the Pharisees and the high

priests the Sadducees now with Lazarus

being a living testament of this

incredible miracle just outside of

Jerusalem they are more determined than

ever to get rid of Jesus and to take his

life away and it’s interesting isn’t it

that as we’ve gone through as you go

through the New Testament you hear the

teaching over and over again of how they

the people want to sign the Pharisees

want a sign before they actually have to

exert their faith and

as we’ve talked about previously it just

doesn’t matter the sign is never going

to matter

the sign isn’t the point right the point

is having faith and growing and

developing through that faith here they

have the greatest sign of all which is a

dead man for four days is raised from

the dead and it doesn’t matter to them

right the sign does not matter it just

the sign is pointless

they don’t change it makes them even

more have more hatred toward Christ you

can think about things in our lives even

today where that happens where we have

people that are so ideologically

possessed that when the truth comes and

hits them right between the eyes

and a miracle and goodness that it just

doesn’t matter their preconceived ideas

their emotions that they already have in

place are dug in and they’re not going

to give that up and in fact they’re

going to dig in farther they’re going to

double down even at this point and

and we see that all the time and that’s

that’s what you’re dealing with here

with the Pharisees and the Sadducees and

kind of the environment in Jerusalem

especially is this just this hardcore

ideological possession that is going on

and that is really what happens to a

society that goes off the rails is that

they start getting this ideological

possession that takes over their values

and their value structure and lowers

things that are important and maybe not

eliminating him completely but lowers

the things that are important and puts

other things up at the top of that value

structure and that that’s where

Jerusalem is at this time he’s in

Bethany and he wants to head into

Jerusalem for the week of Passover and

so what he does is he tells some

disciples to go and find this ass this

donkey

and also apparently a full of a donkey

and to that you’ll be able to tell him

that the Lord needs it and that they’ll

be able to give it right up so Jesus

obviously knows these individuals he

knows these people these are people that

are loyal to him these are people that

believe in what he is teaching and may

have believed it before he ever even

came around right there may have been

many many people in inside and outside

of Jerusalem that had different

traditions as Jews and in different it

would be like you know Protestantism is

today where you have different sects

that believe different things and or

Christianity as a whole if that’s the

way it was in in Judah and in the

other Jewish kingdoms and so Christ

hasn’t bring this donkey in and the

people get the donkey and they put their

garments on it says their robes is

really what it is which is kind of

interesting and then they put Jesus up

on top of the donkey so now this is

interesting and here is I think the

biggest point of this day of Palm Sunday

for us to understand we lose for

whatever reason especially in in our in

our church I will say we lose I think

a little bit of the richness and

understanding of Jesus Christ as the

king and I think we need to develop that

a little bit more and have a clearer

understanding of that and that’s what my

point is in in this episode what is

happening here is we’re going to see a

scenario here that is a royal setting

and Christ as the king he’s going to

come in as the royal King and as the

king of kings you know what does that

mean to these people well remember that

was Solomon for example

Solomon wrote in from the gijón spring

which is on the east on a donkey when he

would come in to the into Jerusalem and

this would be we’ve talked about this

before but this would be like the

procession that you would have where the

King would be coming in and going down

this path and then coming up and then

ending up at the temple and this is

where we get the idea of make his paths

straight and prepare ye the way that’s

how I see it is that the forerunner like

a John the Baptist would be someone who

is calling out repentance and saying the

king who in who the ideal King is

Jehovah Jesus Christ is going to be

coming down the procession down the path

and coming into the temple and so what

we want to do is make sure that that

road is cleared that the obstacles are

removed that we make it as straight as

possible and that we prepare the way for

that procession so that procession can

come through without any problems why do

we want that because we want the king to

be able to come through and coming to

the temple and act as the priest king as

the ruler of heaven and of earth and

so we need to make sure that pathway is

is cleaned out we can look at that

personally we need our own pathways

cleared out so that we could get to our

eventual end of ending up at the Holy of

Holies and in the temple and that’s what

would happen each year in ancient Israel

way before the time of Christ and this

is what is lost at the time of Christ is

the idea of the Kings and the idea the

temple drama that would happen annually

with the king and this is a very

important thing to understand many of

these traditions would have continued

with some of the groups especially in

the wilderness maybe in Galilee and

other places remember that the Jews or

the people of Jewish descent

Galilee were a minority right there

scattered out and about around Palestine

here in other places Greece etc and but

some of them held onto these traditions

and these teachings that had a

more Melchizedek Priesthood Flair

more of a what we would call a First

Temple theology that would be the Temple

of Solomon because the temple that Jesus

is about to go to now is the second

temple right because the Babylonians

destroyed the first one and in another

35 40 years the Romans are going to

destroy this one the second one but in

that temple drama in the first temple

for David and Solomon and the others

that followed what would happen is

that the King would come in in his

procession just like Jesus is about to

do here and as he came in there would be

a temple drama and that temple drama had

a lot to do with the creation and the

characters in this temple drama would

include the king and the queen and

others and the king in the Queen would

have several roles first off they would

represent themselves as the earthly

leaders of God’s kingdom on earth and

that’s what they mostly were right now

they acted out throughout the year but

they would also change character and

they would become God and maybe goddess

or the mother of God at least and so the

king would be acting as Jehovah so he

literally would act in this drama with

set words that we find in the Psalms and

he would act as Jehovah and he would go

in to the Holy of Holies he would sit on

the throne in the Holy of Holies the

throne of God and act as Jehovah would

well besides that he would also act as

all of the met the citizens that are

watching this happening and by the way

this would

happen during the festival of

Tabernacles so this is where all of the

Jews would come in they would make their

booths or festival of booths Tabernacles

was called Sukkot or it’s also when we

have the Day of Atonement which makes a

lot of sense right and there would be

certain priestly rituals that would

happen at this time and so as the

citizens were participating themselves

in this temple drama they would have a

chorus they would repeat words that they

already knew or that they had maybe

handed out to them as copies we see the

same thing by the way with King Benjamin

and his speech that is a almost

for sure that is that is a festival of

Tabernacles scenario there and the

people are all gathered to go through

this temple drama and a lot of what you

read in there you’ll see is drama is

they talk all in one voice well what

does that mean why would they do that

well they’ve all got the words together

they already know what they’re going to

say this is ritual that is happening

right but that was loth of abalone Ian’s

took out the temple it’s gone and what

else do they take out the king there’s

no royalty anymore and so as they go off

and get into exile in Babylon and then

they return 70 years later at the time

there’s no temple and there is no longer

going to be a king they get close with a

couple things like the Maccabees and

other rulers there but they don’t end up

with a Davidic King any longer and so

they’ve lost this but many sets Jewish

sects have hung on to it appears to me

have hung on to these types of

traditions and the older traditions of

the gospel that were wiped out and so

here something begins to emerge where

Jesus is the king and what does that

mean and we were we talking about what

we’re going back to Malachi and we’re

going back to Zechariah and we’re going

back to Zechariah and we’re going back

to Isaiah who talked about the suffering

servant and the King and I to me I think

that these are references to temple

dramas they might not be they might just

be written by Isaiah but I think that

these are either references to or actual

words of a temple drama that would have

been happening in the time of Isaiah and

Hezekiah king Hezekiah but what that

would mean as the king man is that you

are yes you’re the king of the people

there but it would also mean that you

are Jehovah right it would mean that you

are the king of kings

and that you are Jehovah and that was

kind of lost as we talked about the knee

whore principle in this podcast we

learned that there that the

concept of the Messiah the concept of

Christ had been tweaked in some cases

dramatically by some of these

groups and some of them a little bit is

looking at maybe a war hero or something

else like that but the idea that Jehovah

himself was going to come down may have

been prevalent in some of these groups

but the idea that he was actually God

and was going to take upon him the sins

of the world that was mostly lost at

this time and so here Christ Jesus is

coming in life Solomon did on a mule on

a donkey with these garments that are

laid out the robes of some sort I think

they may be very possibly might be white

linen even I’ll tell you why in a minute

but and so they put the garments on

on the mule on the donkey and then

Christ is on the on the donkey and he

rides in not

we kind of had this idea of him coming

riding in right at the gates of the

walls of Jerusalem but that’s not true

he goes through the procession and the

people are with him his followers his

believers are with him and remember that

this is the time of Passover so who’s

there

everybody Jerusalem is packed absolutely

packed people have come in from all over

Palestine they come in from all over the

Middle East we eventually get the Greek

Greek Jews that come in which would be

maybe everywhere else but we’ve

Jerusalem is absolutely packed and many

of them if not most or all of them even

from distant areas have heard of this

Jesus who is said to be by some the

Messiah that of old times that had been

prophesied of anciently

and so he rides in and where is he

coming from like Solomon he’s coming

from the east and think of our temples

and how they’re built right in and

how significant the East is we know that

the East is where Christ is supposed to

come from in the second coming this is

where the King comes from as he goes

through his procession to arrive at the

temple which will happened in the second

coming also so Christ is coming in from

the east in this procession and he has

these disciples and these followers that

are laying down these garments that are

being placed down of some sort and also

we hear in John that there also have

palms now we think of the palms and

we’ve I’ve heard a lot of interpretation

on that that is kind of something

about a triumph and maybe about luxuries

and you know something very royal and

luxurious that you’re supposed to be

doing here’s the problem with that

that’s not the best symbolism that you’d

be having at this time we talk about the

triumphant entry of Jesus I don’t know

what he’s triumphing over at least

right now I mean most of these

people don’t know that he’s going to be

crucified and then resurrect three days

later they and they it’s a hard thing

for them even to understand even the

Apostles don’t quite understand what is

going on with that and so I don’t know

that it is necessarily a triumphant in

the sense that that he’s triumphed

already over something rather I think

it’s ritual and I think that what is

happening here this would be based a lot

on a marker Barker the biblical scholar

writes about this is she’s fabulous and

you know she mentions the fact that

these look more like things that are

happening from not the feast of Passover

and unleavened bread but from the Feast

of Tabernacles where this temple drama

would happen each and every year

anciently you know six hundred years

before the time of Christ and I think

she’s right on this I mean it seems a

lot more evidence that this is this is

really what is happening and we’ve

talked a lot about this competition

between Moses and Jehovah or Moses and

the Messiah where the Jews at least in

Jerusalem the establishment we might

call them the theological theocratic

establishment have put Moses up at the

top right they’ve raised Moses up at the

very top and his festival so to speak

would be or what they made it into would

be Passover right where Moses takes the

children of Israel out of out of Egypt

and then the Day of Atonement and the

Feast of Tabernacles that happens in

September October in the fall would have

been about the king would have been

about Jehovah and includes the Day of

Atonement which is all about the Messiah

and the suffering servant and so

here you have the Passover happening

where Moses rains so to speak and yet

here comes Christ at the beginning of

the Passover week as the king the king

from the temple drama the king that the

New Testament opens up with showing

having Matthew show a lineage going

back all the way through the Davidic

kings the king of the end of the New

Testament that we have which is in the

book of Revelation where the king is

there sitting on his throne what vision

is John having here it’s similar to if

not the same as that temple drama that

they used to have and so here comes

Jesus to be enthroned as the king or the

king Jehovah the Messiah the suffering

servant that will take on all the sins

of the world and these things that are

happening are more in line with what

happens in the Day of Atonement and the

Feast of Tabernacles then what happens

with Passover and of course we remember

also that we forget we remember we

forget Passover if we actually look at

the actual word and what that really

represents we think of oh yeah well

Passover is where they put the lambs

blood up and then they got out of Israel

out of Egypt really fast and that’s why

it’s called the feast of unleavened

bread also right they didn’t have time

to wait for the bread to rise they had

to take what they had and get out of

Dodge as soon as possible

but what Passover really means and

represents apart from that is that blood

that is put up on the doorposts of the

Israelites is for what is being

passed over why what is passing over

it’s the Angel of Death right is passing

over home passing over the firstborn

where in the Egyptians firstborn they

all died

but the Israelites with the blood of the

Lamb right which would represent Christ

the Messiah the first horns here were

saved just like in a way Isaac was saved

by the RAM right when it when Abraham

went to sacrifice Isaac and so the

Passover itself even should be focused

on the Savior and on the firstborn but

here we’re bringing in these feast of

tabernacle elements with the palm so

they would take for four things they

would have a date palm frond they would

have a willow branch they would have a

myrtle branch then they would have what

they call a citron or it’s kind of a

citrus fruit that would be brought in

and bound together they would bind these

together but together when they were put

together they were still oftentimes just

called palms and these palms in the and

the Feast of Tabernacles would be

brought into the temple and they would

wave them in the temple and so and

when would they do that well my guess is

is that when that was originally done

with the day of atonement back in the

time of the Davidic kings is that that

would be done as the king entered the

temple or was in the temple to be

enthroned as the king as Jehovah as the

Davidic King etc and so I think that’s

what’s happening here

right they are seeing him as Jehovah and

the king of the Jews which is much

richer and deeper than just saying he

was some guy that was going to have a

crown and would rule over Jerusalem

right so anyway Palm Sunday that should

give you a little bit of a different

idea of what that might mean right in

the term Palm Sunday and today that you

still have these palms that they use for

Yom Kippur which is the day of atonement

the day of covering and they’ll waive

them but they have different

representation

for them today and they call them lulav

lu la vie is how you would say it in

English or write it in English and so

they still exist even today another

reference that brings us back to that

setting that feast of tabernacles

setting with the king entering the

temple is the book of Revelation and in

revelation 7 9 to 12 you see you’ve

heard of the 144,000 right from the book

of Revelation well there’s two

characteristics of these 144,000 that

apply directly to what’s happening here

and that is number one they were all

wearing white linen and so that’s what a

high priest would wear as they entered

the Holy of Holies and so it’s a temple

setting is raised what’s happening here

and then secondly they had palms in

their hands right and so again this is a

temple setting where the king is being

enthroned in the Holy of Holies one last

interesting thought about this in

Matthew 21 9 we get the word Hosanna and

here’s what it says and the multitudes

that went before that’s in the

procession and that followed cried

saying Hosanna to the son of David the

Davidic King right this is the king but

they say Hosanna this is all a temple

setting environment I think that’s key

to understand this and it is and Jesus

ends up during this week teaching daily

in the temple that’s on purpose and it’s

written by the authors on purpose so you

know that this procession coming into

Jerusalem ends up in the temple where he

is supposed to be enthroned as the

Davidic King and as the King Jehovah but

something that I’ve thought about is you

know when we dedicate a temple today we

don’t have palms and we don’t use

linen garments but like shaking the

palms that they did on the Day of

Atonement we do shake a white

handkerchief and we say Hosanna Hosanna

Hosanna a temple setting I think that’s

what’s happening here I think it’s

really interesting that you can you can

that’s an echo seems to me that is an

echo of Palm Sunday in a temple setting

so as we think about Jesus as the king

think about that throughout this week

throughout each episode because we’re

going to be ending up

well not ending up but we’re going to

arrive at a point where even Pilate is

going to engrave above the cross Jesus

King of the Jews and that should maybe

have a little different meaning and a

tragic irony to what happens to Christ

at his crucifixion be sure to watch

episode 2 where we talk about the events

of the Holy Week that occur on Monday

I’ll talk to you again next time

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