Yesterday was Palm Sunday. For an indepth look of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, go to Sunday’s Cool 4-5-20. Today, I want to point out a revealing fact that the Jews of that day missed-or ignored. Jesus’ Triumphal Entry was a direct fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. There is disagreement on whether it was 33 AD, 32 AD, or 30 AD, but the date is close enough that any discrepancy is an error on our part and NOT the Prophecy, Christ, or the Word of God. For details, go to Daniel’s Prophecy
The Triumphal Entry- The prophecy of Daniel was that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem on the very day Jesus rode into Jerusalem. THAT’S HUGE! We find in Luke 19 that even as the disciples and the people shouted messianic phrases, the religious rulers tried to exercise their power and authority by telling Jesus to tell His disciples to shut up. Jesus not only ignored their command, He told them that “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Notice that He said, “will” and not “would.” The second indicates a hypothetical situation where the first indicates a sure thing!
The Clearing of the Temple (again)- The next day, Jesus cleared the temple. He had done this once before at the beginning of His ministry (see John 2:12-16; He made a whip of cords that time). He was exercising His authority as Messiah. The religious leaders didn’t like it one bit. They looked for a way to kill Him–which was precisely what Jesus had in mind.
The Withered Fig Tree- The fig tree is symbolic of Israel. The day before, Jesus had inspected it expecting fruit since it had leaves, but it only LOOKED like it had produced fruit. Instead, it was only green. Jesus basically told it, “Since you only look like you produce fruit, from now on you will never produce fruit as you are.” The next day, the tree was withered from the roots up. What does this graphic illustration tell us? In the same way, Israel would “rot” from the roots up. Their stubborn belief in their good works according to the law of Moses could not save them. They would never be able to produce the fruit of salvation and would die in their sins.
The Authority of Jesus Questioned- If Jesus wanted to make the religious leaders mad, this next event proved it. They demanded for Him to tell them by what authority He had acted. Jesus not only did not answer their question, He bartered with them, which put Him on their level of authority. His question: “Was John’s (the Baptist) baptism of God or of men?”
The importance of their answer went like this: If they said that it was of God, then they would be admitting that John was, indeed, the forerunner of the Christ as prophesied in Malachi 4:5-6, and, therefore, Jesus is Who He says He is, the Messiah. If they said that it was of men (man’s idea), then the people would stone them–they would, at least, lose face in the people’s eyes, and their opinion was precious to the leaders. At this point, the people believed that John WAS the Forerunner of the Christ and that Yeshua (Jesus) was the Christ, the Messiah, the Long-Awaited One. In not answering, they were wise, but they were made a laughing-stock in the public’s opinion. Jesus was provoking them with truth. How sad…
Jesus had already answered their question, but not at this festival. Previously, He had made this profession, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.” John 8:54. He couldn’t have gotten any clearer than that. Personally, I think they asked in order to establish their authority. Jesus would not have it. Only HIS authority stands.
It gets worse tomorrow, but we must wait until then…