On Palm Sunday we remember how Jesus and his disciples travelled to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Jesus sent James and John to find a donkey. He told them they would find a donkey tied up in a village, the man who owned it was proud to let Jesus borrow it. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey. The street was lined with people cheering and waving palm branches. They all wanted to see Him. They shouted, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hurrah for the King who comes in the name of God!” They knew Jesus was very special. Some of them put their cloaks down on the dusty ground. They cut palm branches too and put them in front of Jesus, making a bright green path all the way into Jerusalem.
The Last Supper
When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem after Palm Sunday, he went to the temple and was furious to see that it was being used like a market place. He was very angry and made all the people who were selling things leave. The disciples had never seen him so angry before.
The priests in the temple were cross with Jesus and wanted to get him arrested but they did not dare to arrest him because the crowd were on his side. Instead, they began to plan how to get rid of him.
On the Thursday evening it was time to have a special meal together. The disciples and Jesus went to an upstairs room in a house in Jerusalem. First Jesus did something very strange. He washed the feet of the disciples. This was something a servant would usually do, but Jesus wanted to show the disciples that they should do humble things too.
When they were eating the meal, Jesus stood up and picked up the bread. He broke it, saying, “From now on this will remind you of my body, soon it will be broken on a cross for you.” He passed the bread around and the disciples ate some. He picked up the cup of wine and said, “From now on this will remind you of my blood which will be shed for you.” He passed around the cup and the disciples drank some. Jesus said, “Tomorrow, I will be arrested and put on trial. They will crucify me on a cross. But do not worry. That is not the end.” The disciples could not take it all in or understand what was about to happen. Judas slipped quietly away.
The Garden Of Gethsemane
After the meal, Jesus took the disciples away to a quiet garden where he could pray. It was dark when they got there and the disciples were tired. “Stay awake,” Jesus said, “and pray for me.” Then he went to the other end of the garden to pray alone. The disciples watched but one by one they fell asleep. Jesus came back and woke them up and then went to say more prayers. The disciples fell asleep again. Suddenly, a noise woke them all up. Judas walked up to Jesus and kissed him on the cheek. The guards grabbed Jesus and the disciples tried to stop them. Jesus said, “No, there must be no fighting. I must let them take me away. This is how God wants it to be.” Jesus was led away and the disciples ran away in panic.
Jesus was taken to see Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, and it was now Friday morning. He did not want to crucify Jesus but the priests said that Jesus should die. Pilate opened his window and let the crowd who were waiting decide what to do with Jesus. He expected them to want Jesus to be set free but the priests had bribed the crown and they all shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” So Pilate sentenced Jesus to death and he was taken to a hill outside the city where his hands and feet were nailed to a cross. The disciples and friends of Jesus were very sad. In the afternoon the sky turned black and Jesus died. His friends took his body to a tomb in a garden and they put a big stone across the entrance. Some soldiers stood guarding the tomb.
The next morning, very early, Mary – a friend of Jesus – went to the tomb. When she arrived, the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty. She walked around the garden wondering what had happened to Jesus. Suddenly, she heard a voice say, “Mary.” She turned around expecting to see a gardener but there was Jesus, alive and well. He told her to go and tell the disciples. Mary ran off as fast as she could to spread the good news. At first the disciples didn’t believe her but when they saw Jesus they were overjoyed to have their special friend and leader back with them. It was a very special day.