The stage has been set – and Jesus is now heading into Jerusalem, knowing He will be betrayed and crucified. Every action on this first day is hugely significant. He comes into Jerusalem fulfilling prophecy – hailed as King (a title He never took upon Himself) – and ignored as God coming to Judge. Jesus IS the King, and things are not as they should be in the royal city.
He overturns the money changers and the people selling animals. Not only was there a huge market of greed in the Temple, but it also is a foreshadowing of Jesus getting rid of the sacrificial system – He is the last sacrifice, and all that is needed for intimate prayer with the Father.
He then curses the fig tree – a symbol of judgment on the nation of Israel. Jesus was a Jewish male, and God worked through this people that He called and loved. The words of Jesus came true, and Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, and another destruction in AD 135. God cares about our fruit.
All of these actions are powerful, and show that Jesus is who He claimed to be – God Himself, coming to Judge. The tragic irony is that the City judged Him – and that was their judgment. This judgment reversal is still going on – Jesus is STILL on trial – and the decision the world makes about Him seals their own fate.