Thursday, July 25, 2013
“…[T]he sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Peter 1:11 KJV).
The King appeared once, and He shall return….
At about age 30, Jesus Christ began His public ministry in Israel (Luke 3:23). Three years later, near His earthly ministry’s conclusion, He rides on a donkey’s foal, a young colt, into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19)—the so-called “Triumphal Entry.” Jerusalem is “the city of the great King” (Matthew 5:35; cf. Psalm 48:2). Thus, Jesus Christ, Israel’s King, is offering Himself to her by coming into her capital city, humbly riding on a donkey, fulfilling Zechariah 9:9.
Interestingly enough, in those Bible days, when a king rode a donkey into a foreign city or country, he was demonstrating an attitude of peace toward that land’s government. He was not interested in war, so he came meek and gently. By riding on the donkey, Jesus Christ is not only fulfilling prophecy, but He is also showing Israel that He desires peace between them: He wants them to turn back to Him by faith (Mark 2:17; Luke 19:9,10; Acts 3:24-26; et cetera)!
Recall when the Samaritans refused to receive Christ as He passed through their city years earlier, Apostles James and John asked Him if He wanted them to command fire to come down from heaven and consume those rebels. Jesus replied, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55,56). Our Lord affirmed that He did not come to destroy sinners in His righteous wrath but rather He has come to save them! Remember, He is “having salvation” (Zechariah 9:9)—Jesus wants to save Israel, not destroy her.
This is why Jesus Christ was so willing to die. He could have fought off the Roman soldiers, but He did not. Rather, from His arrest onward to Mount Calvary’s cross to the grave, He was humble and silent, quiet as a sheep being led away to be slaughtered (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:14). He had to fulfill “the sufferings” of today’s Scripture….