Summary: Jesus was making a public announcement about His identity yet they accused Him of failing to say just who He was.
The King has arrived!
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. For us it is an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Messiah, the Promised one of God, Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace.
We can shout together “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
For us it is a very brief opportunity to be glad in our hearts during what will be a heartbreaking week in the life of our King.
But we need not mute our joy because we fully realize who Jesus is even though His own people refuse Him.
Bible scholars like Dr. J. Vernon McGee and Dr. James MacDonald and Dr. J.P.Lange all concur that the Jews failed to identify their own King even when He came to them exactly as prophesied by Zechariah and Isaiah.
Source: J. Vernon McGee Thru the Bible Commentary Volume 3 page 956-957 Thomas Nelson Publishers 1982; Believer's Bible Commentary William MacDonald Thomas Nelson Publishers 1979 page 1281 and J.P. Lange “A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures” Publisher T&T Clark Publication Date: 1872
These Biblical scholars agree that when Jesus came riding in on the foal of a donkey it was like using a giant billboard or public address system to proclaim His title as Messiah.
Zechariah tells us… Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
And Isaiah tells us… Isaiah 62:11 King James Version (KJV)
11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”
Zechariah made his prophecy about 520 years before Christ and Isaiah made his prophecy about 700 years before Christ. The Jewish Bible scholars wrote them down and kept looking for the day when they would happen. So they could celebrate.
We even have the Pharisees to back up this fact as Dr. Chuck Missler tells us… they knew the significance of what Jesus was purposely doing.
"Whenever we might easily miss the significance of what was going on, the Pharisees come to our rescue. They felt that the overzealous crowd was blaspheming, proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah the King. However, Jesus endorsed it!"
I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Luke 19:40
Source: Missler, Chuck, Daniel's 70 Weeks, Koinonia House, 2004
The Jewish people knew for a very long time to be looking for someone to enter the city of Jerusalem just as Jesus did but only Jesus followers celebrated the event with the passion and joy it deserved.
What about you?
Have you ever missed a sign or failed to identify someone or something important.
I think we can all plead guilty to this.
But mistaking just who the Messiah is will be an eternal mistake with eternal consequences. Those who would accuse Jesus later in the week knew exactly what Jesus had done by riding into the city that way. They knew their Bible and they knew that Jesus was making a public announcement about His identity yet they accused Him of failing to say just who He was.
They wilfully closed their eyes to the truth.
Have you ever found yourself doing that too?
Maybe you have done it at tax time as you refuse to believe how much you owe?
Maybe you wilfully closed your eyes when your daughter brought home her boyfriend for the first time.
In the end you had to face the reality of what you saw and come to the conclusion that seeing is believing.
The Jewish leaders of Jesus time refused to look reality in the face. Instead they would scheme and plan for a way to bury the truth.
The problem is that great truths cannot be buried, they cannot be ignored or brushed off. They rise to confront us about our denial and rejection and press upon us till we accept them.
For nearly 2,000 years that is what Jesus on the foal of a donkey has done for every Jew.
Jesus triumphal entry is really a triumphal exit. You see Jesus had fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. Jesus raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, healed the Lepers, calmed a storm with His hand and walked on water. Jesus fed the multitudes, drove out evil spirits and set those captive to sin free by His Gospel of love and truth.
Palm Sunday was just a single exclamation point for the Son of God. It was marking the end of an era and the beginning of a New Testament.