March 03, 2023 – Friday
John 12:12-14 NIV
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.
13 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!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
Key here is The next day for that is the day after the Pharisees had determined Jesus had to die and Lazarus also had to die. Why Lazarus as well? Recall from yesterday, Jesus was at a dinner at the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus where Lazarus also reclined at the table along with Jesus and others. It was at that time, 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him. They came to see the man who had been raised from the dead as well as Jesus and finding the story to be true, many began to believe in Jesus.
Then the very next day Jesus was met by a large number of Jews, 12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 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!” The festival was the Passover, the greatest festival for Judaism where every family came with a lamb to be sacrificed per Exodus 12:3-6. Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrote that one year a census of the number of lambs slain for Passover was 256,500. Thus, Jesus, the lamb of God, would have had lambs all about Him as He entered Jerusalem.
Those who cried out Hosanna, which means “save now,” were from the crowd who wanted and hoped Jesus was their triumphant Messiah and King able to free them from the Romans. That’s why they welcomed Jesus with such enthusiasm and with words from Psalm 118:25-26. But Jesus came as a spiritual king, not some nationalistic king ready for war with Rome. No, His war was with death and sin. That is why, 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” Guzik wrote, “Jesus did this both as a deliberate fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) and as a demonstration of the character of His kingdom. It was a spiritual kingdom, not a military kingdom. He came in peace, not war.” This must have been confusing for those calling on Him to be the king of Israel for He came riding on a donkey, a humble animal and not the powerful stallion of royalty or a military leader.
Still, the crowd grew larger as word spread of the miracle of His raising Lazarus from the dead. This resulted in, 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” Their fear grew greater and the need for action against Jesus grew greater as well.
Bottom Line: Jesus is not our political or national savior, but our spiritual savior. We should not be surprised when those in power become alarmed by those of us who follow Jesus.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You opening our eyes to the fact that Jesus is our spiritual savior, saving us from going to hell while preparing us for eternity in Heaven. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton