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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem – Part 2

          Last week, we saw that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey as a meek and humble King prepared to die for the sins of all. They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” Palm branches were used in victories and celebrations. They symbolize victory and rejoicing. Hosanna is a Hebrew expression meaning “save.” Later it became an expression of “praise.” Jesus is not just an ordinary Jewish rabbi. He is the Word of God (all Truth) and a King. The crowd saw Jesus as the King of Israel, but Jesus will show them eventually that He is King of all kings and Lord of all lords. 
         “Blessed Is He who comes in the name of the Lord” comes from Psalm 118:26 which is known as the Hallel psalms – Psalm 113-118 -- the Songs of Ascent. Portions of these psalms were sung at services of certain feasts. Those shouting this psalm knew they were shouting to the Messiah. Matthew, Mark and Luke said that the crowd also put their garments upon the donkey colt and the road before Jesus. This is a symbolic act of submission to royalty. Followers of Christ are to shed the garment of our fleshly nature, laying it down in submission to King Jesus and His authority. As we do, Jesus will transform us into His image and likeness slowly and progressively so we can radiate His Truth, love and spiritual nature to the world. We are called to a “high calling” and a “holy calling.” (Philippians 3:14; 2 Timothy 1:9) Sanctification means to make holy, to consecrate, to separate from the world and to be set apart from sin so we may have an intimate fellowship with God and serve Him. We are to “love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:37), “blameless and holy”(1 Thessalonians 3:13),“perfecting holiness”(2 Corinthians 7:1), in “love which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5), “pure and blameless” (Philippians 1:10), “in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.” (Romans 6:19)
A foreshadowing of Jesus riding on a donkey into Jerusalem was when David had his son Solomon, who was to be king, ride on a donkey to Gihon where Solomon would be anointed king over Israel by Zadok the priest and Nathan the Prophet. (see 1 Kings 1:33-35) Solomon means “peace/peaceful.” Jesus came into Jerusalem as the King of peace fulfilling this scripture and eventually the reign of Solomon – the King of peace. Solomon, the son of David, built the earthly temple in Jerusalem, but Jesus, the Son of God, builds His temple in the hearts of His followers. Jesus brings His eternal temple into the hearts and lives of those who love and serve Him. As we submit to Jesus and His Word, we become more like Him and He reigns greater and greater in our hearts. We radiate His love, peace and ways to a lost and spiritually dying world. In the New Jerusalem, those who love and serve Christ will radiate His light and glory. This is to begin right now as we walk on earth.
Jesus came to Jerusalem riding on a donkey as the Savior-King of peace. He will complete the fulfillment of His triumphal entry in Revelation 19:11-16.  Jesus who is called Faithful and True, will ride on a white horse. This is the righteous King of kings and Lord of lords coming from heaven to earth as a Warrior King to establish truth and justice, to wage war against the nations and to wage war against evil. His army will be His followers who are already in heaven. They are clothed in white as He is clothed in white – signifying purity. Speaking of Christ’s Bride, Revelation 19:8 says, “And to her (Bride), it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” The righteous acts that we do on behalf of God and Jesus are eternal. The Bride of Christ will be clothed in righteousness like her King.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple – Mark 11:15-17; Matthew 21:12-13

          Jesus cleansed the temple at the beginning of His ministry and at the end. Why? He is the First and the Last; the Beginning and the End. What He did in the beginning, He will do in the end. Cleansing the temple of the Kingdom of God is of great importance to Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. They are holy and reside in holiness! The cleansing of the Temple on earth is symbolic of the cleansing of our hearts that become the spiritual temple of God. Therefore, the Godhead will progressively cleanse our hearts and lives of those things that are contrary to their holiness so we draw closer to God and bring others to the Father and Jesus as we radiate His wisdom and Light.
       The original temple on earth in Jerusalem was to be built meticulously according to God’s Word. Solomon, the son of father David, who oversaw the building of the original earthly temple of God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem was a king with a throne and a kingdom.  He was full of wisdom. When King Solomon finished the building of the temple precisely as God had instructed and the fire from heaven consumed the sacrifice, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Jesus said that a “greater One than Solomon is here.” He is talking about Himself who is a King with a throne and a Kingdom who is full of perfect wisdom (Truth). Jesus wants to fill us with His grace and truth so we can establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The wisdom of the Word of God builds the house. Followers of Christ are the Temple of God on earth. Let us show this by not being “conformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

The Crowd Who Saw Jesus Resurrect Lazarus Spreads the Word

        Those who heard about this miracle gathered to see Jesus also. This threatened the Pharisees even more. They said, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after Him!” John 12:18 

                                            (Next week: Jesus Predicts His Death)

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