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Summary: As the King came to die, He did so: 1) At the Proper Moment (John 12:12a), 2) With the Passionate Multitude (John 12:12b-13), 3) In the Predicted Manner (John 12:14-15), and 4) To the Perplexity of His Men (John 12:16).

John 12:12-16 [12] The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. [13] So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" [14] And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, [15]"Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!" [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. (ESV)

If there is one thing that distinguishes the Covid-19 pandemic from other emergencies, is the reality of a mandated “social-distancing”, specifically forbidding the gathering in crowds. This very Palm Sunday is an example of what we’ve had to do in not being able to gather together. Public health authorities have seen a particular danger in people gathering together in crowds due to health risks in doing so.

As crowds gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast, they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. They went out to greet Him. The crowd shouted, “Help!” and “Save!”. Jesus has come precisely to help and save (His people), though it will not be through the political liberation the crowd expects (cf. Psalms of Solomon 17:21–25) (Whitacre, R. A. (1999). Vol. 4: John. The IVP New Testament commentary series (303–304). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.).

If our greatest problem was government, God would have sent a politician. If our greatest problem was money, God would have sent an economist. If our greatest problem was a need for happiness, God would have sent an entertainer. Since our greatest problem is the burden is sin, God sent a Saviour.

In John 12:12-16, which describes the event commonly known as the triumphal entry, Jesus officially presented Himself to Israel as the Messiah and Son of God. By so doing, He set in motion the chain of events that would quickly lead to His death at the exact time foreordained by God. As the King came to die, He did so: 1) At the Proper Moment (John 12:12a), 2) With the Passionate Multitude (John 12:12b-13), 3) In the Predicted Manner (John 12:14-15), and 4) To the Perplexity of His Men (John 12:16).

Jesus, the King came to die:

1) At the Proper Moment (John 12:12a)

John 12:12a [12] The next day (the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem). (ESV)

Jesus had arrived at Bethany on Friday. The dinner, the anointing, and the gathering of the crowd took place after his arrival, with the Sabbath (Friday dusk to Saturday dusk) intervening. On the next day (Palm Sunday), the ever-growing crowd that had arrived in Jerusalem for the festival learned that Jesus was on his way there. They cut palm branches and went out to meet him (Baumler, G. P. (1997). John. The People's Bible (175). Milwaukee, Wis.: Northwestern Publishing House.).

The next day was the tenth day of the Jewish month Nisan, on which the paschal lamb was set apart to be “kept up until the fourteenth day of the same month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel were to kill it in the evening” (Ex 12:3, 6). Even so, from the day of this solemn entry into Jerusalem, “Christ our Passover” was virtually set apart to be “sacrificed for us” (1Cor. 5:7) (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Jn 12:12). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.).Passover was one of the three feasts that Jews were supposed to attend in Jerusalem, and consequently the population of Jerusalem swelled enormously at this time (Whitacre, R. A. (1999). Vol. 4: John. The IVP New Testament commentary series (303). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.). Passover was near at hand, in commemoration of the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. At such occasions deliverance from foreign subjugation was always one of the main themes of conversation (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 1-2: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to John. New Testament Commentary (Jn 12:13). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.).

Please turn back to Daniel 9

The exact day that the Lord chose to enter Jerusalem fulfilled one of the most remarkable prophecies of the Old Testament, Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks (Dan. 9:24–26). Through Daniel, the Lord predicted that the time from Artaxerxes’ decree ordering the rebuilding of the temple (in 445 B.C.) until the coming of the Messiah would be “seven weeks and sixty-two weeks” (Dan. 9:25; cf. Neh. 2:6), that is, 69 weeks total. In the context of the passage, the idea is 69 weeks of years, or 69 times 7 years, which comes to a total of 483 Jewish years (which consisted of 360 days each, as was common in the ancient world).

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