As we open chapter 11 we remember that Jesus for the 3rd time has told His disciples what awaits Him in Jerusalem...
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
This is one of the few events you can find the account of in all 4 gospels. It is found in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19. Oddly enough Mark’s account seems to be the most Chronologically precise.
we have some important elements that take place at the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem that Jases makes on the day the church traditionally calls Palm Sunday. We have the Mount of Olives where according to Zechariah 14 Jesus will place His foot in the 2nd coming and that foot will cause the mountain to be split in 2 so that it becomes a wide valley, a colt, the foal of a donkey (which Mark and Luke tell us had never been ridden before) and (Matthew and John tell us that Jesus rode this donkey as a fulfillment of the prophecy found in Zechariah 9 that was made about the coming Messiah), palm branches (which which the Jewish people recognized as a sign of victory, people laying their clothes down as a red carpet, people crying out Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”, (according to the Psalm 118 which was sung on the way up to Jerusalem by those traveling up for the Passover)and Jesus entering into Jerusalem which is a fulfillment of Malachi 3.
So we have a lot to unpack this morning.
In Luke’s account of the events we learn that Jesus was weeping over Jerusalem because the Jews had missed what was going on completely...
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
If you have been here for a while you know that I love the events that take place in this chapter because of their prophetic significance which to me only prove the accuracy and truth of the Bible.
The events we are looking at take place exactly one week before Resurrection (Easter) Sunday.
The timing and setting -
The Passover was just days away and Jerusalem and its surrounding area would be jam packed with Jews who were there to celebrate what God did for His people on their last night in Egypt some 1500 years earlier. Population in Jerusalem according to Josephus was about 500k but during this times would be 2-3M resulting in about 200-300k lambs slaughtered
This was one of 3 mandatory Jewish holidays that Jewish men must come to the Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate, and as a result it was incredibly crowded with millions of people who had a great expectation of what God might do for His people who were now under Roman occupation and oppression. Most of the people were no doubt hoping for and praying for someone to set them free and overthrow the Roman government, and some of those people had been watching Jesus very closely and had an expectation that He would be the One to do just that.
However, Jesus wasn’t making His very public entrance to play into the hands of the people and feed their ideas, but rather to clearly reveal Himself and His purpose for coming by fulfilling some very specific prophetic scriptures. It is in the fulfilling of these things that we see the great plan of God for the salvation of mankind being revealed and that revelation only further proves the truth and reliability of the scriptures themselves as being from God and not man made.
A donkey the colt - Riding a donkey signified 2 possible things. For one thing only the rich could afford horses, so we see the humility of Jesus on display, but also it has been said that Jewish kings would ride a horse in wartime but a donkey during times of peace, so we see Jesus coming in with the offer of peace. The people thought that Jesus was riding in a political victory, but He was riding in a spiritual victory.
But the events of this spectacular day were proof of God’s promise of grace and salvation written to His people in the sacred Scriptures, and yet those promises were really for any who would believe the word of God and receive the free gift of His salvation through the shed blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
The donkey was a clear sign from God that He had sent the Messiah to save the people and bring them peace with God…
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Palm Branches - Have been a sign of victory for the Jews going back to the Maccabean revolt called so because of the leader of the revolt Judas Maccabeus. He led a revolt against the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanies who issued decrees in 175 BC that forbid the Jews from performing any religious practices.
The result of this revolt is why the Jews celebrate Hanukkah. Hanukkah means dedication - It was the result of this Maccabean revolt that allowed the Jews to clean out the detestable foreign idols and re-dedicate the temple for restored worship to God.
Hosanna = Save now - They cried out the right song, but they meant it the wrong way. Jesus came to save them from their sin, but they thought He was coming to save them from the Romans.What the people were singing was from one of the Psalms of accent, Psalm 118...
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar! 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. 29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Sadly in just a few days their cry would change from "Hosanna" to "Crucify Him".
Even the very day that this took place was promised by God as we will see this morning.
This would be the 10th of Nisan in the Jewish calendar year 3792 / Our Calendar 6th of April 32-33 A.D. - This would be 4 days before the Feast of the Passover
According to Exodus, this a very important and prophetically significant day as this is the day to select a lamb for the Passover…
1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.
Exodus 12 is speaking about the month of Nissan. So on the 10th of Nissan the Passover lamb was to be selected as a sacrifice for the family, and that sacrifice was to be held until the 14th of Nissan at which time that lamb would be sacrificed at twilight.
Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world comes into Jerusalem on the very day that the Jewish males would be presenting their Passover lambs to be inspected by the priests to make sure they were without spot or blemish as an acceptable sacrifice, so that He could be judged by them to be the sacrifice for all mankind!!!!!!! Now clearly they didn’t see Him as the sacrifice. They saw Him as a nuisance that they needed to get rid of.
How can we be so sure the 10th of Nissan is the day that Jesus rode in on the donkey?
To find the answer we need to look at Daniel 9. You may remember it’s in this chapter that one of the most important prophecies about Jesus and the end times is found as the angel Gabriel speaks to the prophet Daniel. In the beginning of Daniel 9 we find Daniel crying out to God and confessing the sin of the people of Israel as they are in captivity in Babylon for 70 years because of their rebellion against God and His law. As Daniel is doing this God sends the angel Gabriel who is the one who always brings news of the coming Messiah.
24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
Since we are looking at 70 weeks we need to figure out how long a week is, right?
“The word “week” in Hebrew is heptad. A word which means 7. It could speak of seven days, seven weeks, or seven years. In this case it is used to describe seven weeks of years. In Genesis 29 we see the Hebrew word Heptad being translated interchangeably as 7 years and week in reference to the same amount of time which was 7 years.
26 Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.
A chronological summary of Daniel 9:24-26
1. There would be a decree to rebuild Jerusalem.
2. Jerusalem and the Temple would be rebuilt during troublesome times. As we see in the book of Nehemiah.
3. Then an anointed one (Messiah) would be "cut off" (an idiom for "rejected" or "killed").
4. Then Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed again, as it was in 70 A.D. by the Roman General Titus who left no stone upon another.
So heres the math…
62 weeks + 7 weeks = 69 weeks
Week = 7 years
Years = 360 days /12 months that had 30 days each month(This was common in all ancient calendars at the time of Daniel 9)
69 x 7 = 483 total years
483 years x 360 day/year = 173,880 days
Now when we take 173,880 days into our modern 365.25/day year we get 476 years (solar years not prophetic years.
The question is from what date do we begin counting down 476 years?
25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
1 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” 6 And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.
•Artaxerxes came into power in 465 B.C. 465-20 = 445 (in B.C. the numbers get smaller as we count down to the time of Christ) we get 445 B.C. There is no day-of-month specified, so according to the Jewish custom the date is understood as the first day of the month, which would be Nisan 1, 444 BCOn our calendar that would be March 5th 445 B.C.So our starting point for the 69 week countdown is March 5th 445 B.C.
69 weeks - 173,880 days (476 Solar Years/ 483 Prophetic Years) from March 5th 445 B.C. = April 6th 33 A.D. = 10th of Nissan
Which is the same day the events of Mark 11:1-11 take place!
According to Exodus 12, 4 Days later would be the Feast day on the 14th of Nisan – That day will be the day of Jesus’ Crucifixion – 3 Days later The Resurrection.
All of this together makes what John said about this day so amazing…
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.