April 3, 2007

'Twas a Historic Week: The Entry Into Jerusalem

I refuse to ignore the fact that this is indeed a most historic week. And so, sitting at the mall, near the talking Easter Bunner and colored baskets, I sit and I read, "The Suffering Savior." Read some of it with me here this week, will you? And may you, too, refuse to ignore the events that transpired leading up to that particular Passover.
Grace & peace...
Steve
--------------------------------
"That He is the Christ, the Son of God, and that we have every reason to trust in Him, is confirmed to us by His own consciousness of being so. We find Him proceeding to Jericho on His last visit to Jerusalem. On arriving at the Mount of Olives. He requests two of His disciples to go into the village over against them, where they would find an ass tied, and a colt with her. These they were to loose and bring to Him.
"Observe here that He sees the animals He is in want of at a greater distance than the eye could reach. Even in this circumstance we see something superhuman breaking through the lowliness of the Saviour's form. He then gives instructions respecting the ass and her colt, with a decision which betrays to us the Governor of all things. He tells them, 'If any many say aught unto you, ye shall say, the Lord hath need of them, and straightway he will send them.' He says, 'the Lord,' and not 'the Master' only, or 'Jesus of Nazareth'. This is a title of majesty, a name of dignity, by which He elevates Himself high above every creature, and declares Himself to be Jehovah. 'The Lord hath need of them.' As the mere Son of man, He never could have spoken this of Himself without being guilty of blasphemy. But He knows who He is, and how He may call and entitle Himself, and He utters the words with firmness and dignity.

"But will the owner feel induced, at the mere expression of the disciples - 'The Lord hath need of them' - to resign the animals to them? Assuredly he will. The Lord has no doubt of it, but is perfectly confident that, as the Lord from heaven, there was nothing which was not His, that He had power over all things, and that His eternal Father would grant such a power with His words that, as He expressly says, the owner would 'straightway' send them. Oh, let us revive from our state of despondency by the consideration of our Lord's self-consciousness, as here manifested, which substantiates His superhuman glory.

"The ass's colt is led away with its parent. The disciples lay their garments upon it as a covering, and the Lord seats Himself upon the animal in order to ride into Jerusalem. This seems a trifling feature in the case, and scarcely worthy of notice; but look a little deeper, and its importance will increase. Our Lord by this act, testifies something infinitely greater respecting Himself than would have been the case had He suddenly placed Himself upon a royal throne, or had made His entry into the Holy City beneath a gilded canopy, and arrayed in a purple robe. It is evident, and the Scriptures expressly inform us, that our Lord had in view, at that moment, an ancient divine prophecy. You will read it in Zechariah 9:8,9. Jehovah there says - predicting the future - 'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold they 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.'

"This is a delightful prediction, at which the whole world of sinners ought to rejoice. It is a gracious star of hope in the hemisphere of the Old Testament, greeted for centuries by the saints of God with tears of ardent longing. More than four hundred years had elapsed after these words had been uttered, when, on the summit of the Mount of Olives, the Man of Nazareth appears, and calls to mind this ancient prophecy. On the point of approaching Jerusalem, He orders an ass and its colt to be brought Him, seats Himself upon one of them, and publicly enters Jerusalem upon it, in the presence of assembled multitudes.

"But what does He testify by this mute but significant action? What else than that the prophet's words are being fulfilled in His own person? What else than that He is the promised King of glory, just, and having salvation, and bringing peace to His people? What else than as if He had said, 'It is I, whose dominion shall extend from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth? It is I; therefore rejoice, O daughter of Zion! and shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!' Yes, He announces this as loudly as with a voice of thunder. No other meaning can lie at the bottom of that scene. If Jesus were not the promised King of Peace, with what epithet should we be compelled to designate that act? But He knew what He did, and how far He was justified in it; and hence, in His entry into Jerusalem, we have a new, powerful, and actual proof that Christ was the true Messiah announced by the prophets, and at the same time, the only-begotten Son of the Father, our Mediator, and eternal High Priest."

From, "The Suffering Saviour: A Series of Devotional Meditations," F.W. Krummacher, first written in 1856, published by The Banner of Truth Trust, 2004.