May 22, 2016
You talk about a collision of conflicting emotions, welcome to Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into His beloved city of Jerusalem.
As you will hear in this PODCAST, all of this emotional turmoil will come to a climax as Jesus paused during His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, gazed longingly at breathtaking panorama, and then suddenly sang this song of lament: “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day.”
This your day.
The obvious question: What was it about this day that caused Jesus to refer to it with such a pointed specificity?
This was, of course, the day on which Jesus chose to make His return to the Holy City, and thus to trigger all of tumultuous events of His turbulent last week. It was, as you may know, the final Sunday before Passover that year, what we call Palm Sunday. This because the people gathered in their thousands, and waved palm branches all along the route of Jesus’ ride on the back of a donkey into Jerusalem.
I cannot help but to think that the words of Psalm 137 echoed through Jesus’ mind and heart as He rode into the city: “If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.”
Jerusalem: Jesus’ beloved city indeed. Let there be no doubt that Jerusalem was, and is, and ever shall be Jesus’ highest joy. Which makes His weeping -- His crying convulsively -- over the Holy City on this her day all the more poignant, all the more powerfully emotional.
Now, I need you to focus on one important fact that overshadows this entire week: Jesus’ thoughts were focused like a laser beam on one particular book of the Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament): the prophetic book of Daniel. How do I know this? Because on the Tuesday of this final week, a mere 48 hours after this Palm Sunday, Jesus will give to His disciples His grand and glorious Olivet Discourse, recorded in Matthew 24 - 25, and rivaled in its beauty and majesty only by the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 - 7.
That signature sermon was delivered on the Mount of the Beatitudes in Galilee. This final sermon or discourse was delivered on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem.
In that discourse, Jesus laid out for His disciples and for us the sweeping panorama of the End Times, and all that will lead up to His glorious return. The so-called Signs of Times.
We will, of course, break it down in all of its majestic splendor when we get to that Tuesday in the coming weeks.
What I need for you to note now is what Jesus said right in the middle of that discourse, the interpretive key both for that sermon and for this moment in His Triumphal Entry.
Matthew 24:15, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel let the reader understand.” Jesus’ unmistakable reference to Daniel 9:24-27.
Now listen carefully: The Triumphal Entry sets in motion the beginnings of the fulfillment of this great prophecy in Daniel 9, what many call “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel.”
Allow me to read to you the prophecy in full, and then we’ll talk about it.
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God bless you richly as you listen.