He Is Coming
By Bobby Blakey on April 3, 2023
He Is Coming
By Bobby Blakey on April 3, 2023
I invite you to open the Bible and turn with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 21. Matthew 21 is where we are turning. And this is the first of our three-part study called Gospel Weekend Palm Sunday, which is tomorrow morning. In fact, we're so excited about Palm Sunday we're having breakfast at eight o'clock tomorrow morning before the service. I don't know if anybody wants to come back for free breakfast, but we're having breakfast tomorrow morning at eight o'clock because it's Palm Sunday. And Palm Sunday is the day that we remember Jesus riding down the Mount of Olives on a donkey. And this kicks off what is traditionally referred to as Passion Week, the last week of the life of our Lord Jesus. We know about the last supper on Thursday night with the disciples, we know he dies on Friday, referred to as Good Friday, and on the third day is Resurrection Sunday, he is up from the grave, he arose with a mighty triumph over his foes. And so, this story, may be you have heard this story many times, maybe this is new to you, but this idea that they laid the palm branches down before Jesus as he was riding on a donkey into town. And this is what we want to give our full and undivided attention. And this is in Matthew 21. Now this is one of the historical accounts of the life of Jesus that is actually in all four of the Gospels. So anywhere that the story of Jesus is told, it was intended that this account would be included.
One of the things that when you hear about the life of Jesus, one of the things everybody's supposed to know about him is that he rode down the Mount of Olives on a donkey. Now I have actually walked down the road, they call it to this day, the Palm Sunday Road, it's such a big deal right outside the gates of Jerusalem, there in Israel, that thousands of people go and walk down this road every single year. It's right there on the Mount of Olives. And it's kind of a steep walk down there to the Garden of Gethsemane. And then you can go up towards the Temple Mount. And you can go into the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was beaten up and bloodied. And you can go down the Via Dolorosa where Jesus carried his own cross part of the way. And you can even go to different places where they think he possibly was crucified, buried and raised. So, I've been able to go and take this walk that we are about to read about. And so, let's make sure we really understand what Jesus is doing here. This is Matthew 21:1-5, starting in verse 1. “Now when they drew nearer to Jerusalem, and they came to Bethpage to the Mount of Olives.” So, this is a very important place that I want to make sure everybody at our church after this week, you never forget the Mount of Olives. So, you may want to write that down. If you're taking notes on the handout there, you may want to circle that, if you do that kind of thing in your Bible. But this is an important place we're going to be talking about all week long there, the Mount of Olives, it's a beautiful view into the city of Jerusalem, it's a hill right outside the city. And to get into the city, you'd have to go down the Mount of Olives, and then into the rest of the city. And so that's what's happening here. They're coming to the Mount of Olives, and then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once. This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, humble and mounted on a donkey on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” That right there, Matthew 21:5, that is our texts that we want to study together tonight. It is actually Zechariah, the Book of Zechariah 9:9 that Matthew is quoting. Zechariah wrote that verse over five hundred years before Jesus told two of his disciples to go and get a donkey and the colt, and I love that part. I don't know if you've paid attention to that. Oh, and if anybody asks you just let them know the Lord needs them. Right? I mean, I love that. And so, look, Matthew 21:6-11, “The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt put on them their cloaks, and he” Jesus “sat on them. Most of the crowds spread their cloaks on the road and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David. Bless it is he who comes in the name of the Lord Hosanna in the highest. And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up saying, ‘Who is this?’ And the crowd said, ‘This is the Prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.”
So, there is quite a commotion that is stirred up. And maybe that's the scene that you've pictured before or, maybe you can try to get this scene in your mind that they put some cloaks here and Jesus is riding this donkey down this road in down the Mount of Olives. And people are just so excited that Jesus is here, the crowd that was behind the crowd in front, they are shouting and look specifically at what they are shouting. It's a quote from Psalm 118. Here, Hosanna, which means save us, or save us now, to the son of David. David was the famous king of Israel. So, the son of David would have been someone in the kingly line, the king is coming to save us. Now, save us now, please be our king is the idea. He's coming in the name of the Lord. In fact, he's going to save us in the highest. Now, some of the time when you hear people talk about this crowd that is celebrating Jesus. Sometimes you get the idea. You'll hear people say regularly well, like the crowd that welcomed him on Sunday, shouted “crucify him” on Friday, well, you kind of get, I want to make sure we get a little better perspective on that. And looking at this passage, it seems like there was a crowd coming in with him that was super hyped about him. And then the word spread to the rest of the crowd. So, a lot of people in Jerusalem, they weren't there for this triumphal entry with Jesus on the donkey. They just heard about it later. And the word started spreading throughout the whole city, that the prophet from Nazareth, Jesus of Galilee, he was here. But not everybody in the city was welcoming Jesus, and there was a big crowd shouting “Hosanna” like he's the king, but not everybody was there.
So, let's get this down for point number one, if you want to take some notes, we want to see how Jesus came for you. That's the goal of our time together here, you want to see how Jesus came for you. We want to put ourselves into the crowd. And we want to kind of see this scene as a scene that exists outside of space and time. This is a scene that was prophesied five hundred years before it happened. And then it did happen. And it was recorded in all four Gospels so that anybody whoever heard about Jesus, even two thousand years later, we would all see this picture of them laying down the palm branches, laying down their garments, and shouting, “Save us now.” And the son of David, he's coming in the name of the Lord, he's the King, we need this guy to come and save us. And so, look back at the prophecy quoted there specifically in Matthew 21:5. And notice how it says, “Say that the daughter of Zion,” so that's who this prophecy seems to be to, we’ve got to think that through this daughter of Zion, “Behold,” look at this, the goal is that you would see something here, your King is coming to you. And he's humble. He's mounted on a donkey. And, and he is on a colt, a donkey here that hasn't been ridden before. It's the foal of a beast of burden. So, this is a prophecy that Matthew is saying, in the middle of telling the story. He's saying this prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus did this. So, it says, the King is coming to you. And we know that's to the daughter of Zion, we know that specifically to the nation of Israel. But I want to suggest to you that when Jesus rode down on that donkey, and he went into Jerusalem, and he was on a mission to take up his cross and die for your sins, and he knew that on the third day, he would rise up from the dead. That's why he said he would many times and he would offer every one of us who believe in Jesus, he offers that all of your sin is paid for; you can be completely forgiven, and you can live forever with him in paradise. This is what he came to do. And I want to suggest that he came to do this for you. And that's what I hope you'll see by the end of this sermon.
That's what happens when we get to go to Israel, and like a hundred people from our church are going to Israel in the month of June. And this is what happens. Every time I've been there we will walk down this road together, we’ll go down to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus cried out, “And not my will, if it's possible, take this cup from me, but not my will, your will be done.” And we will go to places where they beat him, in places that he walked, and where he was nailed, pierced, his hands and his feet nailed to that cross, and we’ll have communion together in the Garden Tomb. And we'll go into the tomb, the first century tomb and it's empty, and we will remember Jesus, I guarantee you, every time I've been there, somebody on the trip looks at me, and they have tears in their eyes, and they're like, why did he come down here? Why did he do this? Why did he do this for me? See, this is the king. And he's riding on a very humble animal, on a donkey. And he's your King; he’s coming to you. That's the prophecy to Israel. That's the prophecy to all that the king is coming, and can you see him there riding into town to save us.
Now go to Luke 19. Here's another accounting, we could go to Mark. But let's jump ahead to Luke 19, where we have Luke's historical account, his version of the same story. And in Luke 19, you can see he begins in verse 28. And he has a similar quote from Jesus. And I love this idea that that Jesus here is calling for the donkey because Jesus is consciously fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, he knows he needs to ride into town on a donkey. He knows that's what's been prophesied five hundred years earlier, but I love how Jesus sends two disciples, and I love how this donkey just happens to be waiting there for Jesus. And Jesus, just all you’ve got to do, the password, “The Lord needs them.” Right? You can try that. I don't know if it'll work in your life. But it definitely worked with this donkey, right. So, it's an amazing thing where Jesus is deliberately taking an action to fulfill prophecy, but then sending to disciples almost to act like it's out of control to get the donkey but then he's also showing at the same time that Jesus is completely in control of who owns that donkey, and then it's going to be used for his purpose. So, it's really pretty deep how Jesus sets it up, like he's deliberately calling for the donkey, but admitting they don't have a donkey, but knowing that he's going to get the donkey, almost like he already is in control of what is about to take place. And so, Luke tells us that same idea here, and then the people… look at the response of the people here, pick it up with me in Luke 19:36. “And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.” So, we've got the same scene here, they're laying down their garments before him. And as he was drawing near, now, he's already on the way down the Mount of Olives, and the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice, and praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord, Peace in heaven and glory in the highest. Okay, so here we have that they were specific, making it clear, the son of David means king. And they were seeing we have a king who is coming in the name of the Lord, and we want to give him glory in the highest. This goes back to Luke 2 with the angels announcing that he was born to bring peace on earth, peace between God and us. And that would be to God's glory in the highest. Well, now his disciples, you’ve got to see that these disciples are loud and they are praising. So, who is the crowd of people that are welcoming Jesus as King into Jerusalem? It's his followers. It's his disciples, and they are making a big deal about Jesus there. They are praising him in a loud voice. They are, you could say here a word we don't use anymore these days, they are lauding him.
Let's get that down for our first dash, if you are taking notes: You want to see him lauded as Lord. Okay lauding is this word that means to praise, to make glorious. These are disciples who believe in Jesus, who are shouting out that Jesus is the King, and he comes in the name of the Lord. And he's bringing peace to everyone. And it's God's glory in the highest. So, what the angels were shouting on Christmas, the disciples are shouting in preparation for Easter on Palm Sunday. Man, I wish sometimes when we get together, when believers get together today, I wish there would be more lauding of the Lord, more shouting out his name. And that's what happens here. This is an outburst of praise. And look with me again here at Luke 19:37. It makes it very clear, this is the multitude of his disciples and these people are rejoicing, they are happy, they are fired up. And they are praising him with a loud voice. Why? Because they've seen Jesus already do some amazing things. And they believe in Jesus, that he is the king. And these people, you’ve got to think their hype level, their anticipation, is at an all-time high. What is Jesus about to do next in Jerusalem?
And after this, he goes into Jerusalem, and he clears out the temple with a whip. Oh, that's a great next scene, right? So, these guys, they are ready to see King Jesus, and they are excited. But then there's another response. Look at Luke 19:39. Of course, we've got the downers. Here, we've got the haters, right, some of the Pharisees. So, I want you to see that this crowd that some of the people are very excited and shouting, some of the people they're still just kind of hearing about Jesus or look at this response. Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” As if, like, hey, your disciples shouldn't be saying that about you. Your disciples shouldn't be acting like you're the king. And you're the one who comes in the name of the Lord, and you're the one bringing peace. You need to get your disciples to calm down. Don't you think your disciples are taking this a little bit too far? See, people don't even need to tell Christians to calm down too much these days. That's a problem. We should be so hyped on Jesus this time of year. If nobody's telling you to calm down, are you really celebrating Jesus? Right? I remember I had this one guy who was in a class I taught one time and he got so fired up about the gospel, he started just sharing the gospel with everybody so that even other Christians came to him, and they said, “You need to calm down. Johnny, you are just too fired up for Jesus.” And I love every once in a while, I love to text that guy, “Calm down, Johnny, calm down,” you know, because he's fired up. And that's what they're saying here, you’ve got to get your disciples, rebuke them. You’ve got to get them to calm down. And Jesus, he does not step down from them, calling him king. Look at how Jesus, he accepts their praise. He says, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Wow. Yeah, if my disciples weren't worshiping me, the very creation would worship me. That's what Jesus says to these Pharisees.
But then look at this next scene, Luke 19:41, “when he drew near,” so this is a part and all the celebration and all the rejoicing of the crowd of the disciples. Then there's this part where he drew near and saw the city and he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace!” Like he's coming to bring peace between God and the people of Jerusalem. And he's like, I wish you knew the peace that I'm coming to bring. But now they are hidden from your eyes. See the crowd, some of the people who actually saw Jesus riding on a donkey, and they heard what the disciples were shouting, they couldn't really see Jesus riding in on a donkey. Many people have gone to church throughout American history on Palm Sunday, and they've talked about the palm branches and the garments, and Jesus riding in on the donkey. Many people have heard the story, but not everybody has heard the story. Here's Jesus already weeping because he knows Jerusalem is going to miss the point that the king is coming to bring them peace with God, the Father in heaven, but it's hidden, it's veiled. They can't see. They can't see what Jesus is doing. And so, he's heartbroken. He says in Luke 19:43-44, “For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Here's Jesus making a prophecy of their soon and swift destruction that comes upon the Jewish people by the Romans in AD 70. And he says he's already weeping over Jerusalem because he wants to bring peace, but the peace that he offers them is hidden from their eyes.
So, let's get this down for our second dash. You need to see Jesus, see him lowly on a donkey. You need to see this humble Jesus, that Jesus is the King. And he does come in the name of the Lord. And yet he's coming humbly to offer peace between God and man. And so, we need to realize that Jesus could ride in and he could reign, and he could make everybody bow the knee, and he could demand everyone and confess that he is the Lord. But Jesus came in humbly, just lowly and gentle, offering peace to all people. And they completely missed the point of what he came to do. See Jesus, he could have come in on a war horse, you think the crowd got fired up? See, if Jesus had come into town with some political rhetoric, if Jesus had started stirring up some nationalism, if he had started appealing to the Jews, and about how they didn't like the Roman reign over them, and they wanted liberation, they wanted justice. They wanted freedom, they had rights. I mean, Jesus, he could have raised up a real ruckus, Jesus could have easily started an insurrection in Jerusalem, if that's what he came to do. But he came to offer peace, and people completely missed it. So many people are riding the roller coaster of politics and nationalism, and what's happening next, and what's the big current event and what's next on the world stage, and they're missing Jesus offering peace with God right in front of their face. See, Jesus came, you’ve got to be impressed that the Lord of all creation, who the rocks would cry out to worship him, yeah, he's just coming in on a donkey. He's not coming in on a war horse. He's not coming in on a chariot. No, he's coming in humbly, gentle and lowly, saying, hey, do you want rest for your soul? Hey, do you want to stop bearing that burden of sin and find peace in your heart with God? That's what Jesus came offering and he's already weeping over Jerusalem because he knows they can't see why he came.
Can you see why Jesus came? Have you had an experience in your life where you realize that the Son of God, who was holy in heaven, humbled himself to be born as a baby, lived a perfect life, and then he rode into town, and yes, his disciples were pumped, and they were praising him. But he knew that was a death march that he was coming in on. He knew by Thursday night, after sparring with the Pharisees, after clearing out the temple, after giving some amazing teachings, by Thursday night, he would be on his face in the garden at the bottom of the Mount of Olives, right next to the olive trees there in the Garden of Gethsemane, and it would feel like all of our sin, all the sin of the whole world was pressing upon him, like he, like an olive was being squeezed. And he would be crying out to God, Father, please, if there's another way, not my will, but your will be done. This is what Jesus knew he came to do. Can you see the humble Lord Jesus riding in, that he's coming for you, to save you from your sin? Some people could see it, some people could not see it. It's that same way today. There has always been from the first Palm Sunday till this Palm Sunday, there's always been a divided response to Jesus. Are you lauding him as Lord? Or are you missing him right in front of your eyes?
Go over to John chapter 12. Another telling of this same historical account here in the Gospel of John. So, John is 21 chapters, we had the privilege of going through the Gospel of John in the history of our church, 21 chapters, and the last week of Jesus's life starts in John chapter 12. So that shows you there were 11 chapters to get through the first 33 years. And then there were 9 chapters on just the last week, and maybe a few days after the last week in John 21. But here in John chapter 12, you can see the triumphal entry. Let's pick it up there in John 12:12. And this is shortly after he had this miracle where he went to the tomb where his friend Lazarus had died. And he said, Lazarus, come out. Maybe you remember when Jesus came upon the funeral the morning there, Jesus wept for his friend Lazarus with his sisters, Mary and Martha, and Jesus rose Lazarus up from the dead. So that's a part of why there's such a big crowd around him. That's a part of why his disciples are so hyped. We'll see that clearly here. Look at John 12:12. “The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!’” And his disciples listen to this, think about this. His disciples did not understand these things at first. But when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. And the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised Him from the dead, continued to bear witness. And the reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they had heard he had done this sign. So, the Pharisees said to one another, you see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him. So, we get now even more to the story.
The reason the disciples coming with him are so excited, and the reason people are coming out of town, so excited, is the idea that this Jesus just raised a man from the dead has everyone at a fever pitch of anticipation. And so that's why there's so much excitement among the crowd. And then at the same time, that there is excitement among the people, there are the Pharisees clearly jealous that the crowd is now more interested in Jesus than they are in them. These men were people pleasers, these men were in it for the glory they would receive for themselves, not the glory of God. And so, they did not like seeing the crowd go to Jesus. They're like, look, now everybody's following him. The Pharisees are losing their followers. And there's this bitterness, this envy, this jealousy where they want to kill Jesus, to eliminate the competition. So, you see here, the divided response, but I love what John lets us in on here in John 12:16. This is John quoting for us this epic prophecy, written five hundred years beforehand. I mean, do you know what they were writing in 1523? Has anybody been reading a lot of 1523 lately? I mean, five hundred years is a very long time. And then there's a prophecy that said, The King is coming on a donkey. Now, wow, that that went right over our heads when it happened is basically what John's saying right here. I didn't realize that I was watching prophecy being fulfilled right in front of my eyes, that what Jesus was doing was a deliberate fulfillment of a of a word phrase from Zechariah, one of the twelve prophets there in the Book of the Twelve. I didn't realize that until later on, after Jesus died on the cross, which John saw as an eyewitness after the tomb was empty, which John saw as an eyewitness after Jesus ascended up into heaven, and was glorified, which John saw as an eyewitness. Maybe it wasn't even till the Holy Spirit came and taught them all things brought to remembrance all things that John finally realized; you know why he came in on a donkey? He's fulfilling prophecy. So what that tells me is that this story of Jesus riding in on a donkey was not just for a specific group of people to see that this story, it doesn't matter if you lived five hundred years before Jesus, or two thousand years after Jesus, John is saying no, this is something that no matter what time you live in, can you believe that there was a prophecy that he would ride in on a donkey five hundred years beforehand, and I witnessed it now. I didn't get it right away. It wasn't until later when he was glorified, that the Scripture came to my mind. And I could see that God called his shot of how his son would ride into Jerusalem five hundred years beforehand. John wants you to know, hey, when I figured that one out, that was an aha-moment for me, and I want to make sure whenever you're reading this gospel, I want to make sure that you get that aha-moment. And so, look how he says it here in John 12:15. Because this is the second time now we've come to Zechariah 9:9, it says fear not. Remember, it had rejoice in the other quoting. Well, now it's saying, “Fear not Daughter of Zion, Behold, like the goal is that you would see this, your King is coming. Your king is coming and look at him. Can you see him there on a donkey’s colt? Can you see him coming? And that's meant to bring to your mind the whole teaching of the Book of Zechariah.
But before we go to Zechariah, let's get this down for point number two: Consider if your response is fit for a king. Consider if your response is fit for a king. It is very clear as we read through these texts, the son of David, the King, who comes in the name of the Lord, hear it here, they cried out, even the king of Israel, it is very clear that the one riding on a donkey is a king. Right now, I have never had a king in my entire life. Anybody else with me on that? All I've had is presidents. Okay. I do not fundamentally, and I think that makes us the minority, if we go through human history, throughout the world, whatever you were taught whatever you can remember about world history, it seems like a lot of people, if not the majority of people who lived on planet earth, it all went back to one guy who was in charge. And we praise God that we don't have one guy in charge, we have a system of checks and balances, and our one guy in charge, he's only in charge for a limited time. Right? And so, we then are in an interesting situation. When we think about the concept of having a king because a king, a monarch has absolute and unquestioned authority. And if you knew the king was riding into town, what kind of response would you give to the king coming to your town? People are taking their garments off, they are putting their garments on the road, people are tearing the trees down and putting the branches on the road. Because if the King is riding on a donkey, well, it's like so special, that he shouldn't just even ride on the road. Like I'm going to throw my garment on the road because the king is coming. Is your response to the fact that Jesus, the King of heaven, humbled himself and rode into town, to bring you peace with God to die in your place to offer himself as a substitute for your sin. The king died for the peasant, that's me and you? The King came to save us. Do you have a response to Jesus that is fit for a king?
I can tell you that many Christians give lip service to Jesus. They do not laud him as Lord. What are you really doing to celebrate Easter this year? What are you really doing to celebrate Good Friday? Are you coming to church? Great, but I'm asking you what are you doing to respond to the King who rode into town on a donkey, for your soul, so that if you have peace with God, if it is well with your soul, the whole reason it is because he decided to take this ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. These people are taking the clothes off their back and they're putting them on the ground so that a donkey can walk over their clothes because that's the King who comes in the name of the Lord is your response to Jesus fit for a king.
Go with me now to Zechariah chapter 9. And let's get to our text. That was just the introduction everybody. Let's go to Zechariah chapter nine. If you can even find Zechariah in your Bible. You might have to peel the pages apart from one another as Zechariah has been relegated to the dungeon of Scripture that we call the Minor Prophets, which are not minor by any stretch of the imagination. These are amazing prophecies and they were known as the Book of the Twelve in the Hebrew Scriptures. They were seen as lesser than Isaiah or Jeremiah or Ezekiel, or any other book of the Bible. And Zechariah has some of the most amazing prophecies, some very Christ-centric prophecies. And so, we are going to be starting to look at the book of Zechariah. This week and this summer, we will also, when we take a break from Romans during summer breaks from our fellowship groups, we will be coming to Zechariah to learn some of what this book has to teach us. And here in Zechariah 9:9, we've already seen two writers of Scripture, quote this verse, let's go now and read it here in its original context. Zechariah, he was a prophet, his name means “the Lord remembers,” and Zechariah was a prophet to the remnant of Israel that came back after the exile. So, if you know about Isaiah and Jeremiah, warning God's people in Judah in Jerusalem that if they didn't repent they were going to be judged for breaking God's commandments. And surely, King Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon came in and he took Daniel out of there, and there was an exile of seventy years. And then after that, they came back with Zerubbabel, and Ezra, and Nehemiah. And there were some prophets during that time. Haggai was one of those prophets. And another prophet during that time is this man Zechariah.
So, Jerusalem has been beat down, the people are not rebuilding the temple, it feels like God's glory is at an all-time low. And so, to encourage and stir up the people of God, he gives them these epic words of prophecy through Zechariah because the Lord remembers his people and the Lord remembers his promises. And they felt very weak at this time, but God wants them to know you've got a king that is coming. And this prophecy Zechariah 9:9, hey, rejoice they are, and they might not have felt like rejoicing at this time in the history of Israel. “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.” So, this is the prophecy. And you can see that when it gets quoted in Matthew 21, or John 12, we get a truncated version. So now we're back here to get it in its full glory that these daughters of Zion, these daughters of Jerusalem, they need to get ready to get very happy, they need to get ready to make a whole lot of noise. All right. So, when it says daughters here, and the daughters of Israel, I think it's referring to young ladies, as in perhaps the excitement that a young lady might have when she is waiting for her groom to come and take her away so that they can be married. Okay, so picture the lady who's getting married with all her bridesmaid ladies around her, and they are giggling and excited. Oh, you're going to be married to that guy? Ooh, that's the idea here. Okay. This is some real excitement; something is about to happen. That is worth celebrating. It is worth shouting from the from the rooftops, from the mountaintops, get ready, everybody, we're going to have a party, we're going to have a feast. And it's better. This is not just any groom that's coming to marry just any bride. This is the King who's coming to get his people. Can you see that your King is coming to you? And it says, invoking within the Israelites who would have originally heard this prophecy, all of the predictions, all of the promises of the Messiah, the Anointed One, the One who would be both prophet and priest, and King, the very one of God.
See, throughout history of Israel, they had many different rulers. They had their kings, and they had their prophets who spoke to them the Word of God like Moses, and they had their priests who would do the work in the temple and all these different prophets and priests and kings. Some of them were good, some of them were terrible, they all got anointed, they all served God. Well, someday there was going to come an Anointed One, who would come from God, and he would actually reign over God's people in justice. And this guy, he's going to be different than a lot of the government that we've known because this guy, this king, when he comes, he will always do what is right and too, he will actually care about the people that he rules over; he will bring salvation to his people. Can you imagine? If you had a government that always did what was right and always cared for their people? Can you even imagine such a government? That's how it's going to be with Jesus. And this is what the people of Israel longed for what they looked forward to, the legend of the Messiah is true. And he's coming. That's the prophecy of Zechariah. He is actually going to come. And when he comes, I'll tell you that he's righteous, he has salvation. And then kind of a plot twist here. Look at him, he's humble and on a donkey, not exactly how you would expect the king to show up. But look what it goes on to say here, in Zechariah 9:10, I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations.” See, this is like an ideal scenario. This is like the picture-perfect kingdom, like we don't need the war horse. We don't need the chariot. We don't need to get ready to go into battle, because this king, when he reigns, he actually brings peace to the world. That's the promise here. See this king, look, he's speaking peace.
Now, this is where I want you to see that this King when he comes, and when he comes for the daughters of Israel, and he comes to fulfill all of God's promises for the Messiah, of the nation of Judah, then I want you to see though, look what it says, “He shall speak peace to the”… Who does it say there everybody? To the nations, not just a one nation is he bringing peace, knowing Jesus sets up the kingdom, “he'll speak peace to the nations.” Look at this, “his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.” As not just the borders of Israel we're talking about there. You don't see this. This is someone who's going to set up a kingdom. And it will be the kingdom that will spread over the entire world. Many people have tried world domination, they're not people we would want to dominate the world, but there will be someone who will bring world peace. Do you believe that? Do you believe that what I mean, this is something that is so basic into the human race. It's so built into who we are that we wish there could be a world peace, we wish that all the nations could do what is right and all the nations could get along. How many people have cried out for something like that throughout human history, and Jesus is going to come, and he is going to bring it. So, the amazing thing about prophecy in the Bible is we can say that Zechariah 9:9-10 has been fulfilled. Jesus did it. He rode down the Mount of Olives on a donkey, he fulfilled that prophecy. And at the very same time, we can say, the King is still coming. Behold, he's still coming because he hasn't yet spoken peace to the nations. And he hasn't yet established his rule “from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth.” This prophecy is both fulfilled. And this prophecy is still a prophecy that the King who came humble, speaking peace, that King has unfinished business with Israel and the daughters of Zion. The daughters of Jerusalem, they should still get ready to rejoice, they should still get ready to shout aloud, because just as it was five hundred years until he came riding on that donkey, it's now been two thousand years. And I'm here to tell you that the king is coming once again. And he will take all the kingdoms of this world and he will make them the kingdom of our Lord and Jesus will bring peace from horizon to horizon. That is the promise. And that promise didn't happen. When they missed it was hidden from their eyes. They missed who Jesus was. The Romans came in and wiped them out in 70 AD. This part of the prophecy of Zechariah as sure as the part on a donkey has been fulfilled the part where Jesus comes and brings world peace has not yet been fulfilled. And as sure as Jesus did fulfill the part on a donkey, Jesus is going to fulfill the part where he comes as king and reigns over planet Earth. There will be a kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Go with me to Revelation chapter 19. And let's look at the restatement of this prophecy. So, this prophecy, there is more than we have time to get into here today about the donkey. The donkey goes all the way back. If you're taking notes here, you might want to write down the donkey goes all the way back to Genesis 49:11. Okay, oh wait, when Jacob is talking about his blessing, his sons which become the twelve tribes of Israel, he makes a blessing to Judah. And he talks about the lion coming from the tribe of Judah, but it also mentions a donkey and the colt in that prophecy. So, the prophecy of the donkey not only goes to Zechariah 9:9, it goes even back to Genesis. So, there are multiple layers to a lot of these epic prophecies of Scripture. It starts in Genesis, it's restated in Zechariah, it's fulfilled in the Gospels of, of Matthew and John, they directly quote the fulfillment of it. But this idea of Jesus coming down on the Mount of Olives, and behold, the king is coming. Can you see the king riding in? See that prophecy is still even in the year of our Lord 2023, that prophecy is hanging out there waiting, waiting for fulfillment.
And the daughters of Zion, the daughters of Jerusalem, the bride, and, and all the all have her who are accompanying her, all that would be ready to rejoice and shout aloud, they're still waiting for that joy. And the righteousness, the righteousness that the king is going to bring, oh, it's still yet to come. Look at how it describes this in Revelation, chapter 19. We get into so much judgment, and so much destruction, and there's going to be the dragon of Satan. And there's going to be two witnesses. We're reading through Revelation right now, some of us, and it's so strongly Jesus at the beginning. And then there's so much like evil in the middle of the book of Revelation in the mark of the beast. And in the antichrist, people lose the whole plot of the book, because the point of Revelation is the unveiling of the king. Can you see him? He's coming? Are you ready for him? Don't get so distracted by the bad guys that you miss the hero riding in.
And, by the way, be careful to know what he's writing because he's not coming in on a donkey on round two. Revelation 19:6, “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude.” Wait, do you see what the people of Jesus, through ruckus that we are going to raise when it's really time to celebrate Palm Sunday? “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters, like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, and these people are crying out.” I mean, they're going to blow that choir we had here today out of the water, all right. They're going to blow the whole congregation singing, right? I mean, they're going to blow the biggest crowd of people, all stadium of people singing something ain't got nothing on this group right here. And they are going to be crying out. Like the rocks. “Hallelujah. For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns.” Do you think they made a big deal about Jesus shouting Hosanna on that Palm Sunday? Oh, here we go. Let us rejoice and exalt and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. It was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure, “for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” “And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.” Then I fell down at his feet to worship him.”
Oh, you're going to be so happy. Oh, you're going to rejoice. Oh, you are going to shout like you've never shouted in any time of your life. You think getting married was exciting. You think watching your child be born was exciting. You think getting saved apart from Jesus was exciting. No, blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, these are the true words of God. And I fell down. John is so excited just to have the idea of this. John, who was at Palm Sunday. Now he's seeing this and he just fell down to his feet and he's going to worship the angel who's speaking to him, “but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.’ For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Then I saw heaven opened and behold a white a horse and the one sitting on it is called Faithful and True.” And here he comes. The Righteous One “in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Can you see Jesus riding down on the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem? He did it once. On a donkey. He came humbly to give you salvation, to pay for your sin. There is going to come a day when every eye will see Jesus riding on a white horse on the clouds. And the whole earth will mourn because of Jesus. And those of us who believe in Jesus, we will exalt, we will Lord Him, we will give him great glory. Look the vision. Behold, can you see it?
Let's get this down for point number three: make sure you are ready, for he is coming. Make sure you are ready, for he is coming. One thing we want to learn this week is this Mount of Olives, this is like the most important place in the world. This is the city of Jerusalem, this mount where Jesus came riding down on a mission to die for us and save us. This is the very same spot where Jesus promised, and the angels testified that Jesus will return and he will come and he will stand there on the Mount of Olive. He will ride out of heaven, and he will defeat the nations. Jesus, he came one time in humility, to bring peace to everyone who believes, and he will come the next time in judgment, to be in peace, even to those who do not believe. And the question is, can you see Jesus riding down? Can you see him? Can you hear the story? Can you see it with your eyes? I mean, what kind of a god is this a God who will humble himself to die for your wretched sin, and then a God who's going to ride out of heaven. And all glory is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, the transcendence, and yet the intimacy, the loneliness, and yet how high and exalted he is. See, Jesus is more than any of us can get our minds around. That's why you can celebrate Palm Sunday, all the Palm Sundays of your life, every year of your life, and never get to the depth of who Jesus really is. And if you have the privilege of being on the side of Jesus being in his army on that Palm Sunday, when he really does ride down out of heaven. Oh, the best is yet to come. As we worship Jesus, and he will bring peace, from horizon to horizon. And we need to see Jesus for who he really is, because he is coming. And when he comes the second time, it won't be like some day you're reading Zechariah. And the Holy Spirit reminds you that you actually saw that happen. No, when Jesus comes the second time, he won't be looking for people to see him by faith. When Jesus comes the second time everyone will see him. And the reason this has been written down is so that you could see it today that you could believe it now, so that you could be one of the blessed, one of those who are so ready to rejoice, one of those who has a reason to shout aloud, because you have been invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And you are a daughter of Zion, and a daughter of Jerusalem, that it wasn't just for the Jews, but all the Gentiles have now been brought in because he didn't just die for the Jewish people. He died for the sins of all people. And everyone, no matter what nation, tribe, or tongue you come from, if you can see Jesus coming down the Mount of Olives, you will be saved, and you will have peace with God. See, this is who our Lord is. He is the king, and he is coming to you. And it is time for us to remember the king and to give him glory and worship him. And will your response be fit for the king? Because he is worthy of all glory.
So we have come together today to behold our God, the King of kings the Lord of lords, Jesus, the one who rides a donkey, or a white horse. Let us pray.
Father in heaven, we thank you for these prophecies, how amazing that you told us five hundred years beforehand that he would ride in, and on a donkey, and how amazing that now, two thousand years later, we're still awaiting the fulfillment of Jesus to come. And I pray for all of those who are doubters, I pray for all of those who are of little faith, I pray for all of those who think that the world will continue as we know it to be. And that the governments will just keep being evil and getting more evil. And if there is no righteousness, and there is no salvation, and nobody really cares about the people. And they lose hope. And they don't have peace. Father, I pray for those who don't have faith that you would open their eyes that they could see the humble and lowly want to come in on the donkey. And now the people throw down their garments, and they cry out, save us now. We need a king to save us out of this mess, to save us from our sin within. I pray that we could all see that. And then we could behold our God together here today, that we could think what kind of a God would humble himself for somebody like me. Why would he come down here? Why would he do it for me? I pray that that could be on all of our hearts, Father, and I pray for those who have never seen Jesus before. Not really. They've heard the stories. Maybe they know he died on a cross. They know the claim of the resurrection. But it was hidden from their eyes even when they heard about it. Even when they read it. They couldn't see that that was their king, and he was coming for them. And he was calling them to follow him, to give them peace with you, our Father in heaven. Father, I pray that tonight, and all this week you will be opening people's eyes that see Jesus for the first time. People get dragged to church; people who get just relentlessly invited to church until they run out of excuses. And they come on Easter they come here tonight. I pray that you would open their eyes so they could see this isn't a story. This is history. And we're all living in it. And that they could see it now by faith because we're all going to see when Jesus comes as king, when he rides on that white horse, when he comes upon the clouds, and every knee is going to bow, and every tongue is going to confess those in heaven and those on earth and even those under the earth. And they're all going to say, yeah, he's the king. He's the Lord. He is the one that all the prophecies were about. He is Jesus. And we pray that he will get all the glory forevermore. We pray this in his name. Amen.
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