Pilgrims from all over Israel and the world came to Jerusalem to celebrate it.
Jesus had been making His way to Jerusalem for months, now in the past few days a multitude had been gathering around Him as that journey grew to an end. Hopes were high that finally He would be the One Who would restore the kingdom to Israel, pushing the occupying Roman forces out of the land forever and reestablishing the monarchy of David once again.
Life under Roman occupation with its governors and rulers was hard. There were taxes on the people without any representation, edicts announcing censuses for that purpose could be called and everyone had to obey. Roman soldiers could compel Israelis to carry their burden for a mile. It was bitter for them because this was the land God gave them and now they were prisoners in it. Then there was the whole thing of crucifixions. The governors were the jury and judge. Men's lives were in his hands. crucifixion was used as a form of terrorism to frighten any rebels or trouble makers against Rome. Herod's father had even used this horrible killing technique against good men, just to strike fear into the hearts of the Israelites.
Passover augmented all these things. It was a celebration and remembrance of God making Israel free from Egyptian slavery. Now they found themselves occupied by the Romans.
Messianic hopes had come and gone before, but Jesus of Nazareth fit all the criteria. He was a descendant of David. He had healed the lame, blind, deaf and mute. He announced His ministry in Nazareth by reading from Isaiah and proclaiming Himself to be the One of Whom the prophet spoke. (Luke 4.16-30)
Now 3 1/2 years later it is the time when Jewish hopes and memories of deliverance from a foreign power were at their highest.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem as a conquering king.
1.The City Of Jerusalem- v.1
Center of Worship for the Jews
The capital - Kings reigned there from from David until the end of the monarchy when Nebuchadnezzar came and conquered it.
The place where Jesus would die and rise again and ascend into heaven
and one day come back to.
As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
Jerusalem's rejection of Christ was its greatest error, bringing about a tragic end. So it is with anyone who finally rejects him. It would be better for that man or woman if they had not been born.
Here we see how a group of people can be busy, so busy thinking they are worshiping the LORD and yet not recognize the time of God's coming to them.
A city left to its own will is headed down a slippery slope. The rejection of God means the ultimate destruction of that place. That is true of an individual, a city or a nation.
2. The Fulfillment of Prophecy. vs. 2-7/ Zechariah 9.9
Chapter Nine of Zechariah God is speaking through the prophet concerning the judgment against Israel's enemies in Damascus, Tyre and Sidon and the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza and Ekron. These people had oppressed Israel over the years. They had to concern themselves with them and protect themselves from them.
There is the promise of peace from these enemies. The sign would be the Messiah riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, an animal of peace.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9.6
His Kingdom is not of this world. John 18.36
He brings peace to the hearts of people. John 14.27
The kingdom is within you. Luke 17:20-21 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Jesus rode into Jerusalem, not to, at this time, restore the kingdom to Israel.
He came to offer them peace with God through Himself. He came to restore man's relationship with God.
Luke 19.41 As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes..."
What would have brought them peace would have been to accept the fact He is the Son of God and follow Him (it is what brings the only true peace)
Too much was at stake for them
1-Pride. They would have had to admit they were wrong. Remember the question of John's baptism Jesus posed? "John's baptism, was it from heaven or from men?" Of course John pointed the way to Jesus through repentance and water baptism.
2-The Cost. This would have meant an end to their means of trying to be accepted by God, through the keeping of the law... being good enough.
"If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
They loved the temple more than the LORD. That is how some "churches" can go against the Word of God and still have these beautiful buildings.
4-Their positions as "leaders" would be much less. They would have to become servants.
5-They would have leave all this.
Yet Jesus came. As He was proclaimed Messiah by the pilgrims, the leaders of Jerusalem, the leaders of the Jews secretly had been looking for some sly way to have Him arrested. Mark 11:18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
3. The Messiah Proclaimed vs. 8-9
Psalm 118 overlooking verse 22 and 23
I Kings 1.32-40
Matthew 21:7-9 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:“Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! ’Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus knew this act would set off the Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law at Jerusalem. The beefing up of Roman forces to ensure peace during the feast were easily detected. All things were set. The Passover's fulfillment, the Roman Governor being there in Jerusalem able to order His death, the hour had come.
He is the Master of Love. He came to die. He had spoken plainly about it.
Yet for this brief moment the crowds were able to do what was in their heart.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the Messiah. He is the Lamb of God, Who by His death on the cross takes away the sin of the world.