Thursday, September 03, 2020

Expecting Jesus

Matthew 21:1-11 / Mark 11:1-11 / Luke 19:28-40 / John 12:12-19…

As Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem, He was fulfilling prophecy by riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). The excited people were waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna, publically proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah.

This was a tradition which had its roots some 200 years previously, following the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, who was prophesied about (Daniel 7:8, 20, 24-25, 8:9-12, 23-25, 9:26-27, 11:21-39). He was a type of the Antichrist. He placed a statue of Zeus in the temple, and slaughtered a pig in the Most Holy place. Epiphanes beat the Jews into submission, but after several years of this, a man named Judas Maccabee, whose name meant “hammer”, his brothers, and his band of renegades miraculously overcame and drove Epiphanies from Jerusalem.

The people spontaneously celebrated by waving palm branches. From that time on, the back of Jewish coinage depicted a palm branch as a symbol of deliverance from oppression. This is what Hanukkah is all about. So Hosanna is a cry for salvation (deliverance), while at the same time is a declaration of praise.

Now the Jews find themselves oppressed again, by the Romans. When the people cried Hosanna and waved palm branches as Jesus rode into Jerusalem, they were essentially saying, “Be Judas Maccabee. Deliver us from the Romans.” But when they realized Jesus had a different agenda than a political one, a different agenda than a national one, and a different agenda than a material one – some changed their cry from “Hosanna” to “Crucify Him.”

The same is still true. Christians individually and churches corporately will mobilize politically, aiming to change our government, to change our economy, and to change society. That isn’t all bad, but it is one thing to shout at a parade or sign a petition, and something else altogether to stand at the foot of the Cross. It is one thing to cry out against the sins of others, but quite another to suffer the death of your own self and your sin. The Jews wanted religious and political freedom, and prosperity, just like many of the leaders of today. However, Jesus did not come to save us from our social situation; He came to save us from our sinful situation. 

1 comment:

Even So... said...

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