12 – The King Is Coming

12 – The King Is Coming2016-11-27T17:36:38+00:00

Sabbath, September 21, 2013

“When Christ made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the applause of the multitude was at its height. Hosannas were on the lips of the people; but the Saviour felt no joy…. How deep must His emotion have been as He thought of the nation that had forged its own fetters, sealed its own doom, gathered about it the cloud of Jehovah’s wrath. ‘You have defiantly resisted all My pleadings,’ He said. ‘Again and again I have averted the bolts of justice. In love I have waited for your penitence and repentance. I have borne with you as a man beareth with his own son that serveth him. But ye would not come unto Me that ye might have life.’ ” –Review and Herald, December 3, 1901.

Entering the city in a humble manner

1. What request did the Lord make of His disciples as He was nearing Jerusalem? What did these instructions reveal?

Matthew 21:1-3 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

“Purposing to ride into Jerusalem, Jesus had sent two of His disciples to bring to Him an ass and its colt…. Although the cattle on a thousand hills are His, He is dependent on a stranger’s kindness for an animal on which to enter Jerusalem as its King. But again His divinity is revealed, even in the minute directions given His disciples for this errand. As He foretold, the plea, ‘The Lord hath need of them,’ was readily granted. Jesus chose for His use the colt on which never man had sat. The disciples, with glad enthusiasm, spread their garments on the beast, and seated their Master upon it. Heretofore Jesus had always traveled on foot, and the disciples had at first wondered that He should now choose to ride.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 569, 570.

2. What image did Jesus give to His disciples, the people, and the leaders by His triumphal entrance into the city? According to prophecy, what would He give the people?

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Translating this verse from the Hebrews, other versions emphasize Jesus’ humility. One such translation reads like this: “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.” –English Standard Version © 2001.

Matthew 21:4, 5 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

John 12:16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

“Christ was following the Jewish custom for a royal entry. The animal on which He rode was that ridden by the kings of Israel, and prophecy had foretold that thus the Messiah should come to His kingdom. No sooner was He seated upon the colt than a loud shout of triumph rent the air. The multitude hailed Him as Messiah, their king. Jesus now accepted the homage which He had never before permitted, and the disciples received this as proof that their glad hopes were to be realized by seeing Him established on the throne….” –The Desire of Ages, p. 570.

Rejoicing at His entrance

3. What rejoicing was heard at this moment of His ministry by the disciples and the multitude?

Matthew 21:6-8 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

Luke 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.

“Their questionings are silenced by a shout of triumph. Again and again it is repeated by the eager throng; it is taken up by the people afar off, and echoed from the surrounding hills and valleys. And now the procession is joined by crowds from Jerusalem. From the multitudes gathered to attend the Passover, thousands go forth to welcome Jesus. They greet Him with the waving of palm branches and a burst of sacred song….

“Never before in His earthly life had Jesus permitted such a demonstration…. But it was His purpose thus publicly to present Himself as the Redeemer. He desired to call attention to the sacrifice that was to crown His mission to a fallen world. While the people were assembling at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, He, the antitypical Lamb, by a voluntary act set Himself apart as an oblation…. It was necessary, then, that the eyes of all people should now be directed to Him; the events which preceded His great sacrifice must be such as to call attention to the sacrifice itself.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 571.

4. How was He received and praised by the multitude? Who else was praised for the mighty works which they had witnessed?

Matthew 21:9-11 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Luke 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.

“This day, which seemed to the disciples the crowning day of their lives, would have been shadowed with gloomy clouds had they known that this scene of rejoicing was but a prelude to the suffering and death of their Master. Although He had repeatedly told them of His certain sacrifice, yet in the glad triumph of the present they forgot His sorrowful words, and looked forward to His prosperous reign on David’s throne….

“Never before had the world seen such a triumphal procession. It was not like that of the earth’s famous conquerors…. But about the Saviour were the glorious trophies of His labors of love for sinful man. There were the captives whom He had rescued from Satan’s power, praising God for their deliverance. The blind whom He had restored to sight were leading the way. The dumb whose tongues He had loosed shouted the loudest hosannas. The cripples whom He had healed bounded with joy, and were the most active in breaking the palm branches and waving them before the Saviour.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 571, 572.

Not all were satisfied

5. What was the attitude of some of the Pharisees when they saw Jesus exalted as King? What did they tell Him to do?

Luke 19:38, 39 Saying, Blessed be the Kings that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

“Many Pharisees witnessed the scene, and, burning with envy and malice, sought to turn the current of popular feeling. With all their authority they tried to silence the people; but their appeals and threats only increased the enthusiasm. They feared that this multitude, in the strength of their numbers, would make Jesus King. As a last resort they pressed through the crowd to where the Saviour was, and accosted Him with reproving and threatening words: ‘Master, rebuke Thy disciples.’ They declared that such noisy demonstrations were unlawful, and would not be permitted by the authorities.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 572.

True rejoicing in the Lord

6. If the disciples and children did not praise the Lord, what would do so? What significance is there for us in Jesus’ answer?

Luke 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

“But they were silenced by the reply of Jesus, ‘I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.’ That scene of triumph was of God’s own appointing. It had been foretold by the prophet, and man was powerless to turn aside God’s purpose. Had men failed to carry out His plan, He would have given a voice to the inanimate stones, and they would have hailed His Son with acclamations of praise. As the silenced Pharisees drew back, the words of Zechariah were taken up by hundreds of voices: ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ ” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 572, 575.

7. Despite this warm welcome, why was Jesus grieved at the spiritual condition of Israel? What is our spiritual attitude when Jesus comes to us?

Luke 19:41-44 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

“From the crest of the hill where Jesus and His followers stood, it had the appearance of a massive structure of snow, set with golden pinnacles of the temple….

“All eyes turn upon the Saviour, expecting to see in His countenance the admiration they themselves feel. But instead of this they behold a cloud of sorrow…. This sudden sorrow was like a note of wailing in a grand triumphal chorus…. Israel’s King was in tears; not silent tears of gladness, but tears and groans of insuppressible agony….

“The tears of Jesus were not in anticipation of His own suffering…. It was the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus–Jerusalem that had rejected the Son of God and scorned His love, that refused to be convinced by His mighty miracles, and was about to take His life. He saw what she was in her guilt of rejecting her Redeemer, and what she might have been had she accepted Him who alone could heal her wound. He had come to save her; how could He give her up?” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 575, 576.

For meditation

“Israel had been a favored people; God had made their temple His habitation; it was ‘beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth.’ Psalm 48:2. The record of more than a thousand years of Christ’s guardian care and tender love, such as a father bears his only child, was there. In that temple the prophets had uttered their solemn warnings. There had the burning censers waved, while incense, mingled with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended to God. There the blood of beasts had flowed, typical of the blood of Christ. There Jehovah had manifested His glory above the mercy seat. There the priests had officiated, and the pomp of symbol and ceremony had gone on for ages. But all this must have an end.

“If Jerusalem had known what it was her privilege to know, and had heeded the light which Heaven had sent her, she might have stood forth in the pride of prosperity, the queen of kingdoms, free in the strength of her God-given power. There would have been no armed soldiers standing at her gates, no Roman banners waving from her walls. The glorious destiny that might have blessed Jerusalem had she accepted her Redeemer rose before the Son of God. He saw that she might through Him have been healed of her grievous malady, liberated from bondage, and established as the mighty metropolis of the earth. From her walls the dove of peace would have gone forth to all nations. She would have been the world’s diadem of glory.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 576.

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