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The Sad Reception of the King | Part 2

June 6, 2021 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:

Topic: Luke Verse: Luke 19:28–19:44

Theme: The conditional acceptance of Christ is a rejection of Christ.

I. The Careful Alignment with Scripture – 19:28-35

A. The Instructions to Fulfill Prophecy – vv. 28-31

  • After clarifying why He had come – to seek and save the lost – and what He had in mind for His disciples during the age of the Church, Jesus progresses toward Jerusalem – “After He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.”
  • This statement that “He was going on ahead” is a description of His attempt to put some level of separation between Him and the crowd to get alone with the disciples so He could reiterate what to expect – cp. Mark 10:32.
  • “When He approached Bethphage and Bethany …” – two villages very near to Jerusalem, virtually on the other side of the Mt. of Olives to the east of Jerusalem.
  • “Bethany” is the place where Jesus frequented when in Jerusalem and where Lazarus lived who Christ had raised from the dead in the not distant past.
  • Jesus arrived most likely on Saturday and spent the night, and on the following day, Sunday, attended a dinner in His honor at the home of Simon the Leper – cp. Matthew 26:6 where He was anointed by Mary, Lazarus’ sister, in preparation for His burial – Matthew 26:12.
  • Then either on Sunday afternoon or early Monday, Jesus provides the specific instructions to His disciples that will enable Him to enter Jerusalem in fulfillment of various Messianic prophecies: “When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. “If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’”’’
  • This is a powerful demonstration of the omniscience of Jesus – He knew there was the colt, that no one had ever sat on it, where it would be, they would be questioned, and that the owner would immediately comply.

B. The Indications of Fulfilled Prophecy – vv. 32-35

  • “So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them” – evidencing that Jesus was given to the details that must align with Scripture
  • Things unfolded exactly as Jesus had predicted: “As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ They said, ‘The Lord has need of it.’ They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it.”
  • There were other details that were likewise specifically fulfilled – namely the timing of fulfilling the literal details of Daniel’s 70th Week – Daniel 9:24-26:
  1. The “decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” was by Artaxerxes in 445 BC when he ordered the rebuilding of the Temple.
  2. “After sixty-two weeks” – that is, 69 weeks or 483 Jewish years – the “Messiah the Prince” would come – meaning that at the “official presentation” of the King would occur in 33 AD – a year that exactly lines up with the account provided here with a Passover on a Friday and followed by a Sabbath.
  3. After the presentation, “the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing …” – a reference to the crucifixion.
  • The requirement in the Law for the selection of the Passover lamb is that it is to be selected on the 10th day of the first month “Nisan” and then sacrificed on the 14th day – Exodus 12:2-6.
  • This means that the presentation and “selection” of Jesus – who is our “Passover Lamb” – had to be on Monday – March 30th, 33 A, (Nisan 10th) and crucified on Passover – Friday, April 3rd, 33 AD (Nisan 14th) – exactly the alignment of the dates needed by Daniel’s prophecy.
  • Jesus knew exactly when He had to enter Jerusalem to fulfill every prophecy, including that of Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4-5.

Application:

  1. Do you find the literal fulfillment of prophecy a comfort or a threat?
  2. How does Jesus’ attention to the detail of Scripture inform your own approach to God’s Word?

II. The Conditional Adoration of Jesus – 19:36-38

A. The Expectation in Their Adoration – vv. 36-37

  • Jesus allows for the first time public acclamation of His Messianic role – “They brought it [the colt] to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it.” – an instigation of a gesture of submission to Jesus as King – “As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road.”
  • The enthusiasm continued to grow and “as soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, …”
  • They were jubilant – cutting palm branches and spreading them out along with the coats as a symbol of victory, joy and celebration that the King – the one who would deliver them from the oppression of Rome – was entering Jerusalem.
  • Their expectation was that given the demonstrations of power – the raise the dead, feed the hungry, heal the diseased, and myriads of other manifestations of God’s anointing, Jesus was the Messiah who would deliver them … from injustice, oppression, and poverty.

B. The Exclamation of Their Adoration – v. 38

  • As a result, they were “… shouting: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ - a clear expression of their expectation.
  • Matthew adds that they were also shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David” – Matthew 21:9.
  • “Hosanna” [ὡσαννά] - means “help!” or “save, I pray”.
  • The Jews couldn’t comprehend God being at “peace” until their situation was corrected – hence – “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
  • Their adoration of Jesus was “over-the-top” but was completely conditional upon His performing up to their expectation.
  • Only a matter of days later, the crowd had turned on Him when He failed to step up and defy Rome – calling for Rome itself to execute Him – cp. John 19:14-15.
  • Of course, Jesus knew their hearts and how selfish their excitement for Him was and how their conditional adoration was actually a rejection of Him.

Application:

  1. Do you experience a “slipping” into having expectations of Jesus that are inconsistent with what Scriptures teach we should expect?
  2. Have you known frustration or even disappointment with Jesus?

III. The Clear Anticipation of Judgment – 19:39-44

A. The Provocation of Judgment – vv. 39

  • As the crowd was lauding Him and rejoicing in Him, “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’”
  • “rebuke” [ἐπιτιμάω] – express strong disapproval, censure, or warn against such statements as were being made.
  • It is interesting that the very last mention of the Pharisees in the Gospel of Luke highlighted their hostility toward Jesus as God’s Son and promised Messiah.
  • This turned the entire scene – as Jesus now embarks upon a prophecy of Judgment as the Pharisees’ assessment would actually be this same crowd’s assessment in days.
  • This is the expression of the sentiment that would ultimately consume the entire crowd – it is inappropriate to worship Jesus.
  • The rejection of Jesus became the very cause for the judgment that God would execute against Israel.

B. The Prophecy of Judgment – v. 40

  • “But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!’”
  • The construction of Jesus’ statement is a simple condition – “if this happens, then that will happen.”
  • In reality, Jesus knew exactly that “these [will] become silent” as this is the last time the crowd would laud Him – but will fall silent in their support and would even call for Him to die.
  • “Though many Jews have come to salvation in Him and become part of His redeemed church, the nation of Israel offers no praise to Jesus. Their silence is unbroken for two thousand years.”
  • The result of their silence will be a message unmistakable – “… the stones will cry out!”
  • “The stones” that are in focus during this entire context are the stones of the temple – cp. v. 44; Matthew 24:1-2.
  • The great distress of Israel’s desolation was (and still is) the destruction and absence of the Temple. Even today, there are massive stones that had once been in use that “cry out” the consequence of Israel’s unbelief.

C. The Pain in Judgment – v. 41

  • This is something that was very difficult for Jesus to anticipate – “When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it …”
  • Jesus literally “sobbed” [κλαίω] – a reference to bewailing the superficiality and ego-centrism of the worship He was receiving from the Jews as He entered Jerusalem.
  • He knew that their voices – now thunderous in exultation – would become mute of praise, abandoning Jesus altogether when they realized He wasn’t going to do for them what they wished.

D. The Particulars of Judgment – vv. 42-44

  • What Jesus desired from them was true and genuine worship.
  • The peace in which the Jews were interested was social or political peace – not the peace with God – “… saying ‘If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.’”
  • What are “the things which make for peace?” – faith in Christ and the repentance of sin by the grace of God; those who place their faith in Christ receive the peace with God – Romans 5:1.
  • Yet unbelief had blinded their eyes so that they couldn’t see the glory of Christ that had been on display throughout the “day” of Christ’s visitation among them – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
  • There would be an immediate consequence to Israel for their unbelief – a forfeiture of God’s blessing – “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
  • The reason for this judgment was “because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” – when Jesus visited and they rejected Him – cp. John 1:10-11.

Application:

  1. What are the things which make for peace?
  2. Have you known these things?

So What?

With all of the specific & literal fulfillments of various prophecies, we know that those yet unfulfilled will likewise be specifically and literally fulfilled.

This reality encourages those who submit to Christ and should terrorize those who reject Christ.

Jesus presents Himself as King to each of us as well and we must decide how we will respond to Him.

You must decide whether your interest in Jesus is to improve your life today or to serve Him for His glory.

Only those who have repented and turned to serve Jesus have peace with God.