Luke 19:28-36 NIV
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
Palm Sunday is known as the day Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, and is received so very well.
It is a curious thing … that Jesus had the two disciples get the colt. This was to fulfill Biblical prophecy from the prophet Zechariah, who lived five hundred years before Jesus:
Zechariah 9:9 NIV – The Coming of Zion’s King
9 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.
That is only the beginning, with regard to prophecy and Palm Sunday.
I struggled for a while understanding prophecy. Why is it so important? I tie prophecy to a quote from A Gentle Thunder by Max Lucado.
God will whisper. He will shout. He will touch and tug. He will take away our burdens; he’ll even take away our blessings. His goal is not to make you happy. His goal is to make you HIS. If there are a thousand steps between us and him, he’ll take all but one. But he will leave the final one for us. The choice is ours!
Prophecy is, imho, God taking every step … literally a thousand steps, or TEN THOUSAND STEPS…. and taking every step but one. Digging into prophecy will increase your faith and your love and your joy and your hope.
So many people know that Jesus riding in was fulfillment of prophecy, but how big of a deal is that really?
It is the biggest of deals!
Palm Sunday was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel:
Daniel 9:24-26 ESV – The Seventy Weeks
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[a] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish[b] transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[c]
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[d] the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.[e] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
And, yes …. it is a little complicated, but worth your time to understand. If you don’t understand the seventy weeks, or have never heard of it ….I recommend looking into it.
A week can be interpreted here as seven years. Sixty-two and seven (sixty nine) weeks can be interpreted to be 483 years.
Sir Robert Anderson, an English cop (of all things) investigated this prophecy. Anderson found the day that Artaxerxes decreed the build of the temple. He looked into the Jewish calendar, added for leap years (and a couple other factors) and figured out that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt on the very day he was prophesied….
Luke 19:41-44 NIV
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 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. 43 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. 44 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.”
But, while Jerusalem awaited their Messiah, they did not truly recognize Jesus. And just a few days later Jesus would be crucified. And, as Jesus said, Jerusalem would fall just a few years later in 70 A.D.
So … if you believe the calculations by Anderson …. and by all means, challenge it and understand it ….
I am pretty much a cynic. Important decisions in my life, I always try to think things thru. Making a decision that there is a Creator of our universe was fairly easy for me. Understanding that he has a son that lived a perfect life and taught us how to love becomes easier and easier the more I read the and challenge the Bible. God the Father never disappoints. He gives us a piece of Heaven right in our lives, much as The Prodigal Father runs to the Son.
And prophecy is one of many ways God shows us his love and his grace and his glory.
Peace to you all this Palm Sunday,