Monday, April 2, 2012

The Savior's Final Week: Triumphal Entry

John notes, “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

“Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.

           “And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,

“Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt” (John 12:12–15; emphasis added).
The triumphal entry, remembered today on Palm Sunday, provides a joyful prelude to the many sad events that would intervene between this point and the miracle of the empty tomb. It represents one of the few times during His mortal ministry when Jesus was recognized as the king He is. However, the triumphal entry also serves as a symbol of Jesus’s Second Coming, allowing us to look forward to the day when He will return in glory and all will accept Him as king.
O Jerusalem
Luke 19:41-43
           41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine aenemies shall cast a btrench about thee, and ccompass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

Jesus cleanses the temple
"The triumphal entry suggests an interesting historical connection between Jesus as king and the temple. From the time of Solomon until the destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians, the temple had been, in effect, a royal chapel adjacent to the king’s palace. Ancient kings were adopted at their coronations at the temple as sons of the Lord (see Psalm 2:7), a foreshadowing of how Christ was not only the rightful king but also the actual Son of God. He had the right to enter the temple, to cleanse it of activities that distracted from proper worship, and to retake authority from those who had usurped it."

"About this same time, Jesus cursed a fruitless fig tree just outside of Jerusalem. The tree withered away soon thereafter (see Mark 11:12–14, 20–21). When the disciples asked about this, Jesus explained that if they had faith and did not doubt, they would be able to do even greater things. There may be layers of symbolism in the event, such as a demonstration of the Lord’s power over things on earth. In addition, the house of Israel, like the fig tree, had been called upon to produce good fruit by observing and keeping all the commandments of the Lord. But as a group, they were barren. Particularly in Mark’s account, where the story of the fig tree brackets the cleansing of the temple, this incident suggests that the house of Israel, like the fig tree, had not lived up to its potential.3 The cursing of the fig tree and the overturning of the money changers’ tables, taken together, may foreshadow the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple some 40 years later."