The historic event which connects with Palm Sunday is in the Bible’s book of Zechariah, dated circa BC 520. This is part of the poem which he wrote:
“City of Zion, be full of joy! People of Jerusalem, shout!
See, your king comes to you. He always does what is right.
He has the power to save.
He is gentle and riding on a donkey. He is sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
And they bring the colt to Jesus and throw their clothes upon it, and he sat on it. And many spread out their clothes on the road, and others leafy branches cut from the fields. And those leading and those following were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
Sure enough, the crowd with Jesus realised what this ‘play’ was all about. This man, this colt, were what Zechariah had written about 500 years earlier. This man was going to do what Zechariah had prophesied in his book.
But I hear you say, “this confirms that Jesus was just a good actor – nothing more – he arranged this and arranged his (apparent) death and (apparent) resurrection…” But I wonder, “What about the distant unseen tied-up colt? Who put it there? And why did the words given to the two disciples lead to its release for the Lord’s use?”
And he came in into Jerusalem and into the temple. And having looked around at all things, it being already long after the hour, he came out - into Bethany with the twelve.
Darkness still. Back to Bethany, the ‘house of misery’. What was dark in Zechariah’s day? His book recorded messages from the LORD God about the LORD’s opposition to nations around Jerusalem and his judgment upon them.