Palm Sunday and Prophecies
Behold I stand at the door and knock; If anyone will hear my voice and open the door I will come in ..
I heard the sound of Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked: so I hid myself…
I have always found the study of scripture fascinating …especially when I see Old Testament prophecies come true in the New Testament.
Matthew more than any other of the gospel writers lays most stress on the fulfilment of OT prophecies!
But we should not be surprised at this for in the gospel of Luke, we read that Jesus rebuked his disciples for being so slow to believe all that was said about him by the prophets! And beginning with Moses and all the prophets he explained to them all that was written in all of the scriptures concerning himself.
He showed them also how he was meant to suffer, before he entered his Father's glory.(24vv25)
Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies, spoken by different voices over 500 years, including 29 major prophecies fulfilled in a single day… the day he died!
Let us just look at those fulfilled in one of our readings today, concerning Jesus' entry into Jerusalem:-
The place associated with the Messiah
Without a doubt the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem, was a dramatic arrival!
The symbolism would not have been lost on the religious leaders who saw this 'fulfillment event' unfold before their eyes.
The whole city was stirred(seismic) shaken, rather like an earthquake.
It must have seemed that Jesus had reached the pinnacle of his power.
In John's gospel we hear their desperate cries:-
Look how the WHOLE WORLD has gone after him!
At this very point of Jesus' popularity..with prophecies pointing towards his majesty and kingship;
At this moment of adulation and celebration, when the crowds were in the palm of his hands and the religious leaders were powerless, Jesus could have brought about his own rule, if he had wanted to.
'All this will I give you,' the devil had said to him in the wilderness, 'if you will bow down and worship me…'
in other words, kill, maim, divide, destroy, grasp fame and glory for yourself!
No, there for all to see, he rode on a donkey, a beast of burden, for a man who would come to carry the heaviest burden of all i.e. the sins of the whole world.
Thus he identified with the humble, the ordinary, the poor, the sinner…
This is where he demonstrated his true GREATNESS.
In the week that lay ahead he would demonstrate servanthood rather than kingship
and the need to do His Father's will rather than His own
He would seek His Father 's approval before that of men.
He would wear a crown of thorns rather than one of gold
He knew that SUFFERING was ahead, and this came before glory!
And so we come to Holy Week…
May it mean for us a closer walk with Christ on his final journey to the cross.
We may learn that there is sometimes a need for Christians to embrace their crosses, and discover afresh the Saviour that is present in their suffering.
We were never promised an easy ride.
During this coming week, let us rediscover what lessons we need to learn, in order to be better Christians and better witnesses in the world in which we live.