Musings on Palm Sunday

by | Apr 6, 2017 | Holidays | 1 comment


This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, generally celebrated by the Christian world as the day Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem as described in Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12. This was also just a few days before He was crucified.

When Jesus entered the city, many came and shouted, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord!” They took branches of palm trees (hence the name Palm Sunday) and laid them before Him to create a “red carpet” of sorts for the King. It’s amazing how just a few days later many of the Jews, not all and probably not many (if any) of those celebrating here, were found chanting, “Crucify him!” to the Jewish leadership and Pilate.

Let’s go back to the celebrating of His entry. It’s ironic how the people acted considering what day it was near. Just a few decades earlier, no one was celebrating. As a matter of fact, it was a very, very humble beginning for a king. Palm Sunday was within a few days of Jesus’ birthday, possibly even the same day.

“Wait a minute,” you might be saying. “How is Jesus’ birthday in March, or even April, depending on the year? I thought it was in December.” Well, the statement that His birthday was a week before Easter can be found by using the Word, a little history, and a little astronomy. According to scriptures and history, Israel fashioned the months according to the phases of the moon in a lunar calendar. Unlike our present-day calendar, which uses the number of days the Earth takes to circumnavigate the sun, the lunar calendar considers a year as 12 lunar cycles. This is the reason why Passover is at different times every year.

According to the New Testament, Jesus and the apostles were celebrating Passover when the Last Supper took place. Therefore, Christ’s death and resurrection were a few days later — His resurrection on Sunday since that was the first day of the week on the Jewish calendar, preceded by his death three days earlier.

So how can we figure He entered Jerusalem on or within a few days of His birthday? The answer lies in the Book of Mormon. In 3 Nephi, the people started counting their years from the sign of Christ’s birth, with that day being their New Year’s. According to 3 Nephi 8:5, the sign of His death was given. The verse states in part, “And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month…” So, using both books, we can draw the conclusion that Christ entered Jerusalem almost 33 years to the day (give or take a few) after He was born. Pretty neat, no?

This is meant as a fun conversation topic. Regardless of the when and how, the bottom line is this: Christ came, showed us how to live, took upon Himself our sins, took them to the grave, and rose again so that we might live eternally with Him if we choose to serve Him.

Bio Rich

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.


1 Comment

  1. Richard Hutchins

    I have done some research on this topic — which is as follows:
    The scriptures teach that the Nephites began to reckon their time from the birth of Jesus Christ; therefore, Jesus Christ was born in the first day of the first month of the Nephite calendar.
    The Book of Mormon indicates that Jesus Christ died on the fourth day of the first month of the thirty-fourth year of the Nephite calendar.
    Jesus Christ died on the fourth day of the month after His thirty-third birthday – He had started His thirty-fourth year.
    The Nephites began to reckon their time … from the coming of Christ. {3 Nephi 2:8}
    In the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm [which occurred at the death of Jesus Christ]. {3 Nehpi 8:5}
    We know that Jesus Christ died on the day before a Sabbath; therefore, most Christians assume that Jesus Christ died on the day before the “typical” Jewish Sabbath day (a Saturday); therefore, Jesus Christ must have died on a Friday.
    Most Christians are not aware that the Jews have special Holy Days which are called “High Sabbaths”;
    Passover is one of the Jewish religions
    “High Sabbaths” – a special Holy Day.
    Passover, always, occurs on
    the fifteenth day of the month of Nisan –
    regardless of the day of the week.
    It is similar to our July 4th.
    July 4th, always, occurs on July 4th –
    regardless of the day of the week.
    We know that Jesus Christ died on the day before Passover – the lambs were sacrificed on the day before the Passover in preparation for Passover.
    When the scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ died on the day before a Sabbath, the scriptures are referring to the special “High Sabbath” of Passover.
    The Jews sought that the bodies should
    not remain on the cross on the Sabbath;
    for that Sabbath day was an High Day.
    [a “High Sabbath”]. {John 19:31}
    The scriptures teach that “after” the Sabbath – the “High Sabbath” when Jesus Christ was crucified, some of the women purchased sweet spices to anoint Jesus Christ – the market would have opened the day after the Sabbath.
    And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. {Mark 16:1}
    Later, “very early in the morning on the first day of the week” (Sunday), they came to the sepulcher “at the rising of the sun” – before the markets would have been opened to purchase spices.
    Therefore, there must have been a day in between the “High Sabbath” and the typical Sabbath – for the women to purchase their spices. Therefore, they must have purchased spices on a Friday.
    Thus, Passover would have been on a Thursday that year. Jesus Christ died on the day before Passover; therefore, Jesus Christ died on a Wednesday!
    Jesus prophesied that He would spend three days and three nights in the Spirit World after His crucifixion.
    As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. {Matthew 12:40}
    If Jesus Christ died on a Friday, He would have spent only two nights and one day in the Spirit World – Friday night and Saturday night are only two nights, and Saturday is only one day!
    If Jesus Christ died on a Wednesday, He would have spent three nights and three days in the Spirit world – Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – just as He had prophesied!
    Jesus Christ died on the fourth day of the month of His thirty-fourth year; thus, His birthday was Palm Sunday!
    Palm Sunday was the first day of the month; Monday was the second day of the month; Tuesday was the third day of the month; and Wednesday was the fourth day of the month!
    Our Saviors birthday was joyously celebrated on Palm Sunday! That is why Palm Sunday was a celebration!!!
    It is a “birthday celebration” for the King!
    Since Jesus Christ was crucified on a Wednesday, His resurrection would have occurred three nights and three days later – on Saturday night (which is the start of the Jewish Sunday); the Jews start their days in the evenings pursuant to the order of a day observed in the Book of Genesis: “The evening and the morning were the first day.” {Genesis 1:5}
    Mary went to the tomb on “the first day of the week” – Sunday (which started Saturday evening); the scriptures note that: “it was yet dark” – indicating that it was before sunrise on Sunday. When Mary arrived at the tomb, the stone was taken away – revealing that Jesus Christ had, already, been resurrected!
    The first day of the week cometh Mary early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher. {John 20:1}
    Therefore, Jesus Christ was resurrected Saturday night (the Jewish Sunday).
    There are many “traditions” which have developed over time – that we observe to this day – which are due to a lack of knowledge of the Jewish culture!
    To know when Jesus Christ was born, died, and resurrected is not significant –
    the important blessing, for all of us, is that Jesus Christ was resurrected!!!


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