When Jesus said that he would be high and lifted up, those around him didn’t grasp the reality of the upcoming crucifixion. Many people looked at the Old Testament prophesies that focused on the Messiah’s reign, but they chose to ignore Messiah as the spotless lamb. They would perform sacrifices for millennia, yet they didn’t connect the dots with Jesus.
As we look at the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, we will look at John’s account. It wasn’t unusual to gather on this day because they would gather to watch the high priest bring in the spotless lamb for Passover. The reference of this back to when the Israelites being passed over by the death angel when Pharoah wouldn’t release them. There wasn’t anything magical about the blood they put on their doorframe, but it was a faithful trust in God’s instructions. And God did this so that when Jesus shed his blood on the cross, they would understand everything in history that was pointing to the meaning and truth of that moment.
When Jesus came into Jerusalem, people were aware of the prophecy of Zacharias 9:9, but they didn’t know what to make of it. They had already made up their minds what Messiah would look like, that when they were called to faith in Jesus they couldn’t get there. But the shedding of blood wasn’t something they attributed to Messiah.
The author of this book is the apostle John. He is also the author of Revelation. And in Revelation John describes the visions given to him, and describes the slain lamb as the only one worthy to open the scrolls.
The apostle John describes John the Baptist who declares Jesus as being the Lamb of God. He even described that he was unworthy to do any task for Jesus. Jesus was righteous beyond compare. Jesus would be tested, he would be discovered as the spotless lamb so that when He goes to the cross he fulfills the purpose of God.
During this testing, Jesus eliminates the middle ground. Either you believe in Jesus as Lord, Savior, and the Lamb of God. But if you don’t believe that, you are sons of the enemy (). And when Jesus enters Jerusalem, he would enter into the test to determine his fitness as the spotless lamb. The high priests tested him. The Roman leader tested him. Jesus passes the test. When presented before the people, they chose to set free a criminal, and condemn Jesus to death.
The challenge to the religious leaders of the day was that God’s plan differed from their self-created religion. And even today we find religious leaders, even in the Christian community, which detracts from God’s promises and truths. We hear them say that Jesus might not only be the only way, that other beliefs are just as valuable, just as true. But this is far from the actual truth of what Jesus said, what God promised from the beginning, and they know that they are going against what is actually presented in the Bible. They are essentially saying that Jesus died for nothing. That Jesus wasted his life. But we know that is absolutely not true. He died, knowingly died, to make a way for salvation. He rose again to prove that death can be conquered.
We invite you to put your trust in Jesus. Believe that He has redeemed you.
12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. (ESV)
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ (ESV)
44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (ESV)