Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout jubilantly, O daughter of Jerusalem! Look—your King is coming; He is righteous and able to save. A few years ago, I spent an afternoon studying Palm Sunday. I wanted to look at this day through Jewish eyes…. There are so many rich nuggets to be found in this momentous occasion. My study began with a specific question. Why did God choose this particular day for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem? Was it just a random day or did it have specific meaning to the Jews of that day?
I love that On the 10th of Nissan, families selected their lambs in the late afternoon for Passover. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household… Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. How is it though that I have never heard of Lamb Selection Day? Or that it was the same day as what we call Palm Sunday? The writers of the New Testament certainly understood the significance.
But of course, they grew up abundantly schooled in the Torah and the Old Testament Scriptures, I did not. During those days of inspection of the lambs, the perfect Lamb of God was present daily at the Temple, where everyone could see Him….. Jewish historians cite that the lambs during that time all came from Bethlehem and were brought into Jerusalem through the Sheep Gate.
Jesus entered Jerusalem along with all the Passover lambs through that same Sheep Gate. What a beautiful picture of redemption…. His hour had finally come! Oh, what a beautiful Savior… what a beautiful spotless Passover Lamb! The road into Jerusalem was extremely crowded that day.
Hundreds of thousands or according to Josephus, millions of pilgrims were flocking into the city to begin the celebration of the Passover season. At the Sheep Gate, a crowd of people threw their coats and branches down on the ground while shouting,. By this time they were weary from the oppression by the Romans. It was 1, years since Solomon had been crowned king and rode in on a donkey to Jerusalem 1 Kings Now Jesus… the long-awaited for Messiah would finally set up His Kingdom, delivering them out of bondage to the Romans and reigning over their beloved nation of Israel!
Jesus refused and told them that if His followers were silenced, the very stones would cry out Luke The stones? Why did Jesus mention the stones? What would that have meant to this crowd of people and the Pharisees? Jesus had started his triumphal entry east of the Jordan — He crossed the Jordan River on that day. The 10th of Nisan!!! This must be what Jesus was coming to do! Set up His Kingdom here in Israel.
Mark tells that a crowd joined Jesus near Jericho. Their cry was for the restoration of the age of Solomon. This is what they had longed for… what they were expecting! For the restoration of Israel…. Excitement for the deliverance of Roman oppression and the setting up of a glorious kingdom. Their expectations were not met…. The One they thought was Messiah… King…. But the truth is, Jesus did set up His Kingdom.
His hour had come. His purpose and destiny fulfilled. Ephesians quotes Psalm 68 which is a victory hymn written by King David. His Kingdom is a Kingdom that resides IN us and released through us. They were crying out Hosanna! It was a plea for salvation.
They were still looking for a physical king. They were desiring and hoping for someone to change their current oppressed condition. They were sure that the long-awaited Messiah would come in the form of a militaristic king. One who would sit on an earthly throne. The throne of David— and reign in Jerusalem over a renewed Davidic kingdom. Spiritually they were blind to their true condition….
Isaiah 42 talks about the spiritually blind who are captives and sit in darkness. They regain their sight when they are set free. Isaiah 35 prophesies about the Messianic Kingdom the Highway of Holiness and one of the responses of Heaven to save is the recovery of sight to the blind. Mark tells us that there was a blind man named Bartimaeus who was one of those by the road on that Palm Sunday…. What do you want me to do for you? His sight was recovered. No longer a blind captive he freely followed Jesus.
And the first thing he saw when his eyes were opened was the Lamb! Blindness is not being able to see the Lamb who took away the sin of the world. John tells us in Revelation that He is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world!! Open your eyes and see the truth of who you have always been IN Him Ephesians 1.
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