After three years of teaching, preaching and healing, Jesus came to the capital, Jerusalem.
His popularity and his fame had grown over the years, and he was given a rapturous welcome by the people.
He chose to enter the city, humbly on a donkey, to show that, although he was a king, he didn’t need a warhorse and an army.
He came in peace.
The crowd shouted Hosanna.
The ministry of Jesus was hugely popular with ordinary people. But many of the religious leaders took offence at it.
For one thing, he associated freely with people whom they considered to be unacceptable, such as prostitutes, and tax collectors for the hated Romans. And he was scathing in his criticism of their spiritual leadership.
He also made spiritual claims for himself which outraged them – for example, to have authority to forgive sins and to add to the law of Moses.
Finally, by riding into Jerusalem and accepting the applause of the crowd, he was claiming to be the long-awaited King of the Jews. This claim they saw as blasphemous and politically dangerous.
Jesus had to go!