Memphis Belle

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Matthew 21:1-11


“And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her:  loose them, and bring them unto me.  And if any man say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them, and straightway he will send them.  All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.  And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.  And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.  And the multitude that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David:  Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.  And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying Who is this?  And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.”


“Turn in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 21…We left off last week, finished chapter 20, we’re going verse by verse, I think this is like our 53rd study in the Gospel of Matthew, we’ve been at it awhile.  And we’re now going to pick up with chapter 21.  Let’s say a word of prayer.  ‘Lord, we want to thank you that we can study these Scriptures together.  I thank you for your Word, I thank you for the Bible, Lord, that you’d have it compiled for us.  It’s changed lives, people who have studied this and heard it and received it, it’s changed their lives, their families, it’s changed communities, even nations at times. So what a privilege we get to study your Word together, and of course even in our nation, freely, and we thank you for that freedom.  But even now we ask that you’d focus our hearts and minds, that we would just simply hear your voice speak to us, Lord.  You are a God that speaks, even yet today.  And each one of us, stir in our minds and our hearts, and confront us and speak to us and move us through the Holy Spirit, and I pray Lord that we would hear your voice.  Of course that we would be obedient as well to what you say to us.  And maybe have a greater appreciation, as we look at your Word again, as to who you are, even more open our eyes, we pray.  Place your Holy Spirit upon all of us and even upon myself, now as we go through your Word, in Jesus name, amen.’


Where God Guides, God Provides

Chapter 21, verses 1-11, “Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.  Loose them and bring them to me.  And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.’  All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

 ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’  [Zech 9:9]

So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.  They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set him on them.  And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!’  Hosanna in the highest!’

And when he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying ‘Who is this?’.  So the multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.’”  Now maybe you’re visiting today, you’re like, ‘This is the wrong study, the wrong time of year, you know, we’re two weeks away from Christmas and here we are looking at a palm Sunday message, it might seem a little out of order for you. Although at this church we go verse by verse (and chapter by chapter, and book by book).  We will on Christmas day of course stop and look at a Christmas message.  And we do at different times of the year observe different traditions indeed.  But I think it’s interesting too that we would be here in this passage.  You know, we looked at the Gospel of Matthew a few years back, as we’ve just gone verse by verse, and we took 8 years going through the New Testament, and now we’re going back through it again.  When we were in John a number of years ago, I think it ended up the same way, right before Christmas, looking at the same text.  [Think God is trying to tell you something?  See  and]  I think it’s interesting, here at the city of Jerusalem, Jesus comes to the city of Jerusalem.  Now we know he’s been there a few times [actually, every time there was a Holy Day or Holy Day season], although Matthew’s never told us.  If we look at the other Gospels we know that he’s been there a few times before this.  Matthew’s pretty much stayed with him up in the area of Galilee, and then we followed him on this last journey to the city of Jerusalem. It is a week before he is crucified.  So we’re at that last week.  Now as you can see here in this passage, the city of Jerusalem is rumbling, because he’s there [and also because the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread are approaching, a big time for the Jews].  And it is interesting, in two weeks we look at the Christmas story, we look at the birth of Jesus Christ, when this man’s life started, and now here he’s presenting himself in Matthew as King, Matthew 21, but when he was born, the word went out too.  You remember the angels, very similar word went out, Hosanna in the highest, verse 9, the message of the angels about this King that was born, the Magi who came, these men from other countries, came to Jerusalem, looking for the King of the Jews.  And it said there at the beginning of Matthew that the city of Jerusalem was troubled, greatly troubled, the whole city, as these Magi looking around, Herod was very concerned.  But the whole city, trembling at this man’s birth.  He’s a child, word goes out.  And now we’re a week from his death, and he comes to the city of Jerusalem again, and here it says, well the word, when it says “moved” there in verse 10, “all the city was moved”, the Greek word there, we get our word seismic from that.  And it’s sometimes translated, even this Greek word, into “earthquake”, I mean, the city really rumbled because of the arrival of this man.  Now this is a special day in the history of the nation of Israel, according even to the Old Testament, we’re going to look at that as we go on.  Well, Jesus and his disciples, they come, from our last study, chapter 20, end of chapter 20 they’re in Jericho, it’s not all that far from Jericho to Jerusalem, but there’s a tremendous change in elevation.  Jericho down by the Dead Sea is 1,200 feet below sea-level, Jerusalem is 2,700 feet above sea-level, so they’ve gone higher than our local mountain around here (a 3,900 foot rise from Dead Sea to Jerusalem), from bottom to top, and it’s a steep climb to get to where they are.  Of course these guys are in better shape than you and I are.  You know, they walked everywhere they went.  I think it would do me some good if I could retire my car for a day or two, maybe walk to church, or walk to work, I could use it, that’s for sure.  These guys are in shape.  They’ve traveled a bit of a ways, up this hill.  And if you go on an Israel trip with us, I have a picture, and I was looking at it as I was studying this last night.  But I have one of these big long posters, panoramic views of the Old City of Jerusalem that’s taken from the Mount of Olives.  When we go to Israel, we’ll stand on the Mount of Olives, and you’ll look over to the Old City, it’s that common picture you see there with the Dome of the Rock and with the Temple Mount, and you’ve got the Eastern Wall, the Eastern Gate, and there’s the valley inbetween.  So Jesus has come to that place where he’s in area of the Mount of Olives.  And as you come over the hill there, then you look down upon the city.  So this has been a powerful trip for these guys too, you remember the disciples, they were even a little freaked out as Jesus at one point, there was something to him, that really troubled them.  It was unsettling to them as they watched Jesus, and then he came, as we studied in chapter 20, verses 17 to 19, and then putting the other Gospels together to get the whole picture.  But he came, and again he’s told them that ‘I’m going to the city of Jerusalem, I’m going to be betrayed, and I’m going to be crucified.’  Of course he knew where he was going.  But he’s completely in control of the situation, he’s going willingly, he’s going to offer his life as the Lamb of God, for the sin of the world.  It’s been a powerful trip, so now they come, and of course any time you come to Jerusalem and come into this city it’s quite an experience, all that goes on there.  Well, as they approach the city, Jesus instructs two of the disciples to go and get a certain donkey and her colt that they’ll find tied up as soon as they enter into the village opposite of them.  And that they’re to loose and bring these animals, verses 2 and 3, and to bring them to him.  And if anybody asks who they are or what they’re doing, they’re just to say “The Lord has need of these” and the people, Jesus says, will immediately send them, they’ll allow them to be released.  Mark chapter 11, verse 2, here in Matthew we read of two, we read of the donkey and her colt, but in Mark chapter 11 and Luke chapter 19, you only read of the colt there.  And often in this story, all you see is the colt. But evidently there were two, and it seems that the colt, the little one, is the primary focus.  And I would imagine, it says in Mark and in Luke, this little colt had never been ridden before, so it’s very possible they bring the mom along just to give that sense of calmness and reassurance and peace she’d bring to her young one as they are going to be used to walk through this noisy crowd.  Well the disciples go and do as Jesus commanded, they find the donkey with a colt, just as he had said.  And we see their experience, as they’re with him, and they’re watching him work, and they’re even being used in his hand as instruments, and other’s are being used as instruments in his hands.  You know, there’s a picture here, of working with him, he says ‘This is what I want you to do, I’m going to send you over here, this is what you’ll find, and then I want you to come back,’ and they do exactly that.  They don’t have to try to force the situation, they don’t have to get there and arm-wrestle this animal away from its owners, they don’t have to manipulate people and deceive people to get ‘ok we’re gonna use it, we’ll give you money later’.  They don’t have to do any of that.  Jesus said ‘Go do it’, and they go and do what he says, and they come back just as easily.  And there is a picture there, when I follow the Lord, he leads me, I don’t have to force doors open, I don’t have to manipulate, I don’t have to strive.  If I’m in the will of God and following the will of God, God is preparing the way before me, there’s a certain experience in following the Lord and walking in his path.  I just need to simply do what he says, and then trust him and watch him open doors and move things.  It’s ultimately his work that he’s doing.  Certainly we don’t need to strive.  This reminds me of the early years when we first came here, and with the old radio station, getting it on the air.  And I had a lot to learn, but it seems looking back now in hindsight, there was a lot of striving that went on.  We go back, she reminds me of the one particular time, we were doing work in the tower up there, and had to get this station fixed, this old AM radio station, so we’re digging up cables and putting in new cables.  And I guess in order to save money I was determined to do it all on our own with just some volunteers, and one particular night, night-time, it was dark, it was snowing, it was cold, we’re still working.  I’ve got volunteers with me, and we’re digging long trenches and burying trenches.  And you know the darkness came, and I didn’t want to stop, because I didn’t want those cables we were putting in to get damaged.  So I had the volunteers go, we got vehicles, drove them out in the fields and put on the headlights, and we just lit up the field with the headlights with the vehicles running, and there we were.  And somebody made some comment about, you know, ‘Should we be doing this?’, ‘Is this needed?’.  ‘Oh yeah, we’ve got to do this, this needs to get done.’  And we spent just endless hours of pushing and working, trying to get things done, and it seemed like we were striving in a lot of things we did back then.  But when you follow the Lord, you know Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light.  And that doesn’t mean that there isn’t sacrifice and pain and tired days and nights.  But there is this sense of God preparing the way and also providing, you know, where he guides he provides.  It’s never going to require you to manipulate and to compromise for sure.  If you’re in a situation today where you think you’re in the will of God, yet you know you are compromising in your lifestyle, whatever it is, before God, you can be sure you’re not in the will of God.  I can’t be saying that I’m following the Lord, if I’m then compromising what God says in his Word.  God is perfect, he doesn’t do that.  And often we’ll do that, we’ll say ‘Well this is the will of God,’ and we’ll be so sure, our emotions will be all caught up in something, and really just the lust of our heart is there, and we want to be doing something, and yet it’s clearly contrary to the clear written Word of God.  And so God doesn’t lead us into compromising.  In fact the Psalmist stated about walking with the Lord, Psalm 85, verse 13, “Righteousness will go before him [that is God], and shall make his footsteps our pathway.”  Righteousness goes before God, and his footsteps are my pathway, if I’m following with God, and righteousness is before him, and my feet are going in his footsteps, well then I can be sure that if I’m simply following God in honesty and sincerity, I’m not going to be living and doing things that are compromising before God…Now here he only provides, you know you could say, a donkey and a colt for his purposes, but no matter how big or how small, God always provides for what he purposes to do.  Whatever he wants to accomplish, he always provides for.  Here it’s an animal, but there are other examples in the Bible that are much bigger, there is in the Psalms and we’re told, and we see of course in the Old Testament, that God provided an entire nation for the people of Israel.  Psalm 135, verse 5, “For I know that the LORD is great, and our LORD is above all gods.  Whatever the LORD pleases he does, in heaven and in earth, in the sea and in all deep places.”  And then he says, about Israel, “and gave their land as a heritage to Israel his people.”  God gave them a land.  God gave them a nation, a whole country.  So, whether it be small or big, God can provide whatever it is, we don’t need to strive.  I can just say that in my life, even wrestling right now with these radio stations that we’re trying to put on the air.  You know, God will stretch you [and oh do I hate that], but I can sense there are steps of faith related to this that are stretching me, and because of that I’m struggling with trusting the Lord, and struggling with not trying to get my flesh in there and work something out on my own and figure it out.  It’s easy to say, but where God guides he provides.  He just prepares the way, no matter how small or how big.  You know, this year we’ve got these radio stations we’re trying to put on the air. I was talking with Bill whose coming back from San Diego, whose going to start a school of evangelism, and I’m trying to think of all the costs associated with all of this, and man I’m like, ‘Oh boy, this is kind of keeping me up a little bit at night’, and yet, it doesn’t matter to God.  He prepares the way for what he guides us into.  Well, all we need to do is trust him.  You know, if you’re striving, this week in the church bulletin we had just the one-year Bible reading, if you want to read through the Bible in a year. And Psalm 127 was in the reading this week, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it, Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain, It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrow, for so he gives his beloved sleep.”  So if you’re striving, trying to work things out in doing your own deal and not trusting God, then you’re probably not very happy [I’m not happy because I don’t have a wife], then my encouragement to you, just see how simply God works here.  Just trust the Lord, let him lead your life. 


The Importance of being ready to give when the Lord asks


Now, we don’t know how Jesus knew that this colt and donkey were in this village tied up, we don’t know how he knew that.  It is possible, I don’t think you can say it’s not possible, it is possible he knew the owner.  I  mean, it’s possible the owner was even in the multitude there with him.  Maybe it was prearranged.  It’s possible.  But also, knowing he’s the Son of God, it’s also possible, because even this whole passage, with all that’s going on, he clearly knows the future, and we’ll get to that as we go.  I mean, he knows the future and just has the perspective of God.  So it’s possible through miraculous knowledge and understanding, he discerned, he knew, he could see the donkey, the colt, they’re tied up, and he just said “Go”, and he knew already the event.  He could see it already played out.  I mean, I believe God sees all of time all the time, he just looks at it in a different perspective.  [Comment:  Jesus said to the Jews, I think it was in John 8, “Before Abraham was, I AM” and talked of remembering Abraham in Abraham’s day.  It is the Old Testament Yahweh, the Great I AM who became Jesus Christ.  God is outside of time & space, and thus can see through them.]  But whether or not the owner knew the Lord, we don’t know for sure, but clearly he knew either way, when the request was made, I mean, here are people untying your donkey and your colt, you’re like, ‘That’s mine.’  You know, just imagine, maybe you’ve seen that commercial where there’s a gal whose locked out of her car, my son and I always get a kick out of it when we see it on TV, and some guy goes up to help her, and he’s trying to pick the lock, and can’t get the door open, and then he gets the rock and he’s trying to bust the window, and a guy walks up and says, ‘What are you doing to my car!?’, and then the commercial goes to a car that looks exactly like it…And you walk up and you’re donkey and colt, somebody’s messing with them, you’re like ‘What are you doing with my animal!?’  But he says ‘The Lord has need of it.’  And as you read in the other Gospels, it says here they just went as Jesus commanded, but you read the other Gospels, it actually tells the part where they go, and then the people respond in the area, and they say ‘The Lord has need of it’, and they let them take the animal.  And you know, I pray that would be true for me and true for you also, that when it comes to God’s call in our lives, or wanting to use me for whatever the task, or wanting to do whatever it might be, a resource of mine, some time of mine, whatever it is, I would just be willing when God speaks to me individually to go and just say ‘Alright, Lord, it’s yours, do with it as you want to do, however you want to work’, readily giving my life or anything the Lord asks, for him or his purposes.  You know, think of this man or woman, whoever owns the animal, think of them after this situation, maybe they had a purpose for it that day, maybe they had work to do, maybe they had some traveling to do, maybe their family was going somewhere, and this is the mode of transportation, but the Lord comes and knocks, and they give.  And maybe it was a bit of a sacrificial deal.  But you know looking back, if this person is awaiting the kingdom of heaven, I would think that whenever you meet him, he’ll tell you, ‘You know the Lord, when he came into the city, you know the story there, the week before Passover, the triumphal entry, that donkey was mine!  Man, that was my donkey, those were two of my animals, man.’  I would be doing that, lets face it, if I was in the kingdom of heaven and those were my animals, I’d be letting everybody know---‘Do you know, that was mine, man!’  I mean, it’s just something about being used, by God, you know.  It’s exciting.  You never know what the Lord could do even through you this week.  If you allow him, if he comes knocking and speaking, just share the tract, share the Gospel briefly, make that phone-call, and you might find out later that God did a significant thing.  And you get to rejoice in his work, you know, just sending the little bit of money to the missionary in India, and later you find out how that one Bible was purchased, what happened, in significant ways and lives of people as they had that Bible, and were delivered from demons or families and marriages were healed.  I mean, just to be available to the Lord and to his purposes, it’s wild to see what God can do in your life.  And just through a little thing, even this week.   Pray that’s true of you, and I pray it’s true of me, that if he says, whatever you say to him, ‘Ok, whatever you want to do,’ and he speaks to your heart. 


“Because you did not know the Day of your Visitation”


Well, now, this is a significant day, as you see there’s prophecies.  Matthew is writing, as we noted at different times in the past, he is seeking to show his audience, there has never, ever, ever been anybody like Jesus Christ [Yeshua haMeshiach for our Jewish audience, which was the original audience Matthew was addressing].  There’s never been a man like him, and the reason being is he’s the Messiah [haMeshiach] he is the promised Messiah, and he’s the Son of God, as we’ve seen.  And that’s what he’s doing here too, as you see, he’s arranging the details as he tells us part of the story.  He then throws in different Old Testament Scriptures, to show indeed that, ‘I mean, look he fulfilled these prophecies’, this is a special day, an incredible day in the history of the nation of Israel, no doubt about it.  It is the day of his visitation. I believe, there’s a good chance, I wouldn’t say this with 100 percent assurance, but I would say it with 90 percent, that this day is Sunday, April 6, 32 AD.  [Now this is where we part company, for one, it was either 30 or 31AD, probably 30AD, and actually occurred on a Friday, Nisan 9th, see for a full and detailed explanation of Jesus’ last six days alive as a human being on earth.  I hate inaccuracy with a passion in these matters.]  And we’ll get to that as to why.  But it is a specific day, on the calendar, that the Old Testament spoke about, this day of his visitation [true].  Zechariah, as you see in verse 5, Matthew quotes Zechariah, chapter 9, verse 9, and that clearly told of this day, hundreds of years before [during the 530s BC under the return of Zerubbabel and Joshua, with the return of the first 50,000 Jews from their Babylonian captivity---about 560+ years from 30AD].  I believe too though, Daniel prophecied to the day of this event, about 600 years before.  Well, so there’s much excitement you see in the passage surrounding this day.  Yet, what we don’t have here, and I want to just bring it in to the passage, so we have an understanding, is in Luke chapter 19, verses 41 to 43, this all goes down, as we read here, and the next moment as Jesus goes up, and he now catches the view of the Old City there on the Mount of Olives.  You know you would think with what you read here, it’d be like, Jesus would be like ‘Yeah!  Here I come!’, you know, Rocky, it’d be like that.  But he looks at the Old City, and he weeps.  He cries.  And then he says some things with a heavy heart of remorse.  You know why?  Why is he in that state?  He says as he looks at the city, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace, but now they are hidden from you.’  He wept because, you know, there’s a multitude with him along the road, but there are millions of people that have come during the approaching Passover, historically, there’s about a half million people in the city of Jerusalem, and two to three million more would come during the Passover season.  There is a large number of people around, yet also, there is a multitude along the road.  Many seem to be understanding the day, but maybe some are just going alone with the crowd.  [Historically, Jesus only had about 120 real followers, which included the 12 disciples, and this is at the Day of Pentecost, 50 or so days after his crucifixion on the 14th Nisan, 30AD.  So the majority of these people in the crowd he was in were merely on their way to Jerusalem for that Passover/Days of Unleavened Bread Holy Day season.]  But by and large, the city, the nation of Israel missed the day. [Judah, not Israel.  Israel is long-gone, taken captive by the Assyrians in 721BC, see the series on Kings & Chronicles starting at for an accurate history of the House of Israel and the House of Judah.]  It was their day, you know.  And they missed it.  They didn’t understand, they didn’t discern [that Yahweh in the flesh was in their midst, cf. John 8:58-59, Exodus 3:13-14].  So he weeps.  As a nation, because of the state of their heart, things, as he says, were hidden from them.  And so their Messiah comes here, presents himself to them as King, this is the only time he did this.  He presents himself as King, but you know they, because of other reasons, whatever, they missed the deal.  And so, this is the day of their peace.  And so they miss that, and then what happens is, Jesus is there in Luke 19, verse 43, he’s weeping, he says these things, and then he goes on, as he sees, just a short time, it was less than 40 years later, he sees it prophetically, he sees into the future, and he says this, “For days will come upon you, when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and enclose you on every side, and level you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”  And so it was less than 40 years later, less than 40 years after this date that General Titus, the Roman general comes in, and he, they say historically, that in Jerusalem and beyond there was over one million people in that area that were killed, killed, not just left as refugees or taken captive, there were over a million that were killed, brutally.  And so he weeps as he sees.  But this is the Messiah coming, their LORD and their Saviour, and yet it was hidden from them, their hearts were, well they were in a certain state, they missed the day.  Now I say that, because, of course we can’t look down on anybody, because so often that is the case with man.  You could say that, that man so often misses the day, or his day, or her day, the day of their visitation, and maybe it’s not just a day, it’s a day in the sense of days or weeks or months, or a season or years.  But there are many people, maybe there’s even an individual, two or three right here or listening  in  [or reading] that, you know, you could say the same about, today is the day of visitation for you.  I mean, this is, God has ordered this day, you’re either here or listening in, and God’s saying ‘I want to reveal myself to you.’   This is the day of your visitation.  ‘This is the day I want to reveal myself to you’, and yet it’s true, so many have hard hearts, and say ‘I’m not interested, I don’t want to respond.  I want to do things my way or another way.’  And so they don’t respond.  And so it’s the same, ‘this is the day of your peace.’  This is the day of your salvation.  And yet it’s hidden.  You know, I heard on the radio recently about a queen who would occasionally go into her community dressed as a regular gal, like a peasant, in disguise, she’d go with one of her servants [probably a husky body-guard], and one particular day she was doing this, just walking among the people.  And this little lad, she was in his way evidently, and he just laid into her and said some terrible things about this lady who was in his way.  Well he didn’t realize he just laid into the queen.  And then the servant kind of whispered to him, “You have no idea who you were just talking to.”  There’s that story too, of the manager of the Baltimore, what was the largest hotel in Baltimore, in 1775 one night in the fall, he refused lodging to a man who was dressed like a farmer, he looked at him saying, ‘this guy’s dirty, a farmer, we’re a high class hotel, we can’t let you in here, you’re kind of going to lower the class here in our appearance,’ so sent him away.  Anyway, the man went to another place and found a room.  But later the innkeeper discovered that he had just turned away Thomas Jefferson.  In 1775 Thomas Jefferson was a pretty significant leader already in our nation, he had already penned and drafted the Declaration of Independence.  Of course that was being organized, hadn’t been confirmed yet, but he was a member of the Continental Congress.  Well this man, realizing that he had just sent away this famed Patriot, sent word to him, he wanted him to come back.  But Jefferson replied, by instructing his messenger as follows, “Tell him I’ve been already engaged in a room, I value his good intentions highly, but if he has no place for a dirty American farmer, he has none for the Vice President of the United States.”  And, I’m sure that guy was bumming.  Right?  Oops.  ‘That’s not what I wanted to do.’  I mean, you want guys like that staying at your hotel, and then you put their picture up on the wall with the autograph, you know what I mean, that’s what you do.  He sent him away, that’s a big Ooops when Thomas Jefferson comes to the hotel or your restaurant business, you know, and you turn him away.  But maybe it’s that way for you today, God is knocking on the door of your heart, he’s organized today for you, it’s in a sense a day of visitation for you, because he loves you so much.  You need to know him personally, you need to be forgiven of your sin, you need Christ in you, the hope of glory.  Well if you’re here, and things are in your heart and mind, I know God speaks to hearts.  And you’re thinking, ‘Well, what do I do?  What do I do Lord, if you’re knocking on the door of my heart?’  Well, stay tuned, at the end of the service, I always finish the service in a prayer, I invite folks to pray with me who want to get right with God and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior, so stay tuned.  [If you’re curious about what the Gospel of Salvation is all about, be sure to log onto and read through  This is the Gospel that Peter preached on that first day of Pentecost, when 3,000 people were saved and received salvation, forming the very first Church in Jerusalem some 50 days after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Part of the deal is understanding this Gospel, and then receiving it and Jesus into your life.  So if you’re curious log on and read.] 


Jesus Gets the “Red Carpet” Treatment


Bringing the donkey, you know, it’s interesting, they bring the donkey with the colt to Jesus, they throw the clothes on the donkey and the colt, and it says “Jesus sat upon them” and I try to picture that in my mind, I’m not sure how he could ride two animals.  Of course the other Gospels must mention the colt, and it’s possible, putting it all together, the clothes are on both and the mother is next to the colt, as he’s riding the colt, and that’s probably a good guess.  Or maybe he goes from one to the other, for a certain point he rides the mom, and gets to the right place and switches to the colt.  But there’s two.  But as you see there, all these people worship him.  I mean, they start laying the branches down in front of him, John says they’re palm branches, these leafy braches, and they’re laying their cloaks down on the ground, their clothes before him, they’re giving him the Red Carpet treatment, and they’re just singing praises to him.  And you’d be on the road before him, you’d lay things down, and he’d come by, and then you’d get up again, and pick up your cloak and go lay it before him again, they’re just giving him special treatment.  Now, what is interesting about this day, they are worshipping him, and Jesus never permitted that up to this point in his life, publicly, for a group of people to worship him.  There are times where people wanted to take him aside, we’ve already seen that, and wanted to make him King.  He always resisted that, he always withdrew.  This is really the only time publicly, where he lets the masses just worship him in this sort of state, as King, King of kings, as Lord.  Well they say, cry out,  “Hosanna,” Hebrew for “Save Now” is what that means.  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.”  Using the other Gospels, “Blessed is the Kingdom of our father David, who comes in the name of the LORD.”  Luke and John, “Blessed is the King, the King of Israel, peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”  And as it says here, “Hosanna in the highest.”  They’re just worshipping him, of course they’re quoting Psalm 118, this is the Hillel, the Great Hillel, the Hillel chapters 113 to 118 of Psalms.  Now initially, John chapter 12 tells us the disciples, I mean, they’re a part of this experience, but don’t know the significance and what it all means.  But after, John tells us after Jesus died and rose to life, there was insight, of course Pentecost, Holy Spirit, they began to see and understand, I mean, he explained things to them, but it wasn’t connecting yet.  It was all there, but it wasn’t connecting.  But later this all comes together.  So as Matthew writes this down, he then says, ‘this happened, and of course, this was fulfillment of Zechariah chapter 9, verse 9, “Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion, shout O daughter of Jerusalem, Behold your King is coming to you, he is just and having Salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt the foul of a donkey.”  And that’s what Matthew here records, it’s fulfillment.  Now you think of a donkey, that seems like a lowly animal, you know, you think of a thoroughbred horse as something more dignified---but a little donkey?  But in the culture of Israel (and the surrounding Middle Eastern countries as well), this would be the ride of a king.  I mean, when a king would be presented as a king, or a general, someone very significant, they often would come riding on the colt of a donkey.  [It was their equivalent of our open Cadillac ride down Broadway in New York City, with the tickertape parade.]  It was a statement of dignity and royalty.  And of course, all that’s going on, the branches and the clothes, all that was just part of the Jewish tradition of royalty, they were saying ‘You are King, you are the Messiah, you are King of kings.’  So this is the day of their visitation.  It is the day of their visitation, their Messiah, prophecies fulfilled, the long-awaited King, presenting himself to them.  But as we go on, it’s just a few days, the crowd’s saying one thing today, and in a few days, the crowd’s saying ‘We don’t want him as king, crucify him, crucify him, we don’t want to have any king but Caesar’, just in a few days.  [Now it’s important to understand, it’s a different crowd saying that.  Be sure to get the whole picture, in the study about Jesus last six days, at:]  They missed the whole deal, they missed the whole deal.  And that’s a sad deal, when you miss the whole deal.  You look at the nation of Judah, and the city of Jerusalem, and what it meant to miss this day, and what they were 40 years later, you look at a life that misses Christ, that rejects Messiah, and what it means in the end is disaster.  They missed their day. 


Daniel 9:20, a little confusion, two views within the Body of Christ


Turn to Daniel chapter 9.  I mean, given Zechariah, and given all that Jesus had done, so many Scriptures, so many prophecies, I mean in the crowd, the crowd is large, we know from John because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, people are telling people, ‘This guy just raised Lazarus who was dead four days,’ and they’re hearing that, so the crowd has gotten larger, there are the blind that he has healed in the crowd, there are lives that have been radically touched and changed.  [Comment:  It is estimated that Jesus could have healed in his 3.5 year ministry upwards of 100,000 people, maybe more.]  And so all of that, signifying who he was, and this very day, and yet, to miss the day of his visitation.  [Most of these folks who were touched by Jesus in some way  probably didn’t miss the day, for they could very well have been part of those 3,000 people who responded to Peter in Acts 2, or ended up in the early Christian Church, perhaps as many as 50,000 in Judea by the end of the first century.  See for a history of the early Church.]  And then you have Daniel chapter 9.  In verse 20 of Daniel chapter 9, Daniel 586BC, Jerusalem was destroyed, God judged the nation of Judah, and they were exiled to Babylon, in 586BC.  Daniel was a young boy at the time, teenager or whatever, he is exiled [as a matter of fact Daniel and his three friends had been exiled to Babylon in either 597 or 605BC, during one of the two previous exiles where Nebuchadnezzar took the best of Judah’s young men, and skilled workers and craftsmen to Babylon.  Daniel was part of that earlier deportation].  He becomes, and it was even a fulfillment of prophecy we studied on Wednesday night, that Hezekiah would have descendants that would become eunuchs and serve in Babylon, and that’s where Daniel ended up [as well as his three friends, and the prophet Ezekiel as well], and he ended up really serving in four different presidencies, the way you look at it, different kings in two consecutive kingdoms that took over at different times.  During that time, so some time after 586BC, 550ish, whatever, I don’t know the exact date, he has this experience and he records this.  The city of Jerusalem is completely laid waste, the walls are down, it was just destroyed by the Babylonians [see for details about this period of time].  He is seeking God, the angel Gabriel comes to him, and says these things to him.  I’ll just read to you verse 20, “Now while I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision in the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.  And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, ‘O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.  At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision: ‘Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem [458/7BC 2nd decree, this one given by Artaxerxes I, son of Xerxes, given to Ezra.] until the Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks [or 69 weeks]; the street shall be built again, and the wall [moat], even in troublesome times.  And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.  The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.  Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate [desolator].” And we could go on with the rest of the prophecy too, but we’ll just look here because this is where it focuses.  But this angel says there’s going to be seventy weeks, and he says ‘Let’s focus on the 69.  There’s one last week, and there’s a gap inbetween, and we can deal with that another time. But he says, ‘Listen, there’s going to be a command, Daniel, you’re praying, you’re considering the city of Jerusalem, it’s destroyed.  Understand there’s going to be a decree that’s issued [there were three decrees issued, one given by Cyrus in 536BC, and two more given by Artaxerxes I, one given to Ezra in 458/7BC, and one given to Nehemiah in 445BC], it’ll be a decree to allow the city to be rebuilt.  When the city is to be rebuilt, it will be in a time that’s troublesome.  And after that time, these 69 weeks [day for a year principle, 483 years will go by] until the Messiah the Prince.’  Now [which decree do we start from?], we know, as we study, of course you study the Book of Nehemiah chapter 2, you see Nehemiah later, this great leader later, is in Susa, the citadel, and he’s burdened, it’s basically Persia, he’s burdened for Jerusalem, he knows the walls are destroyed, he’s the cup-bearer to the king Artaxerxes [465BC to 424BC], he’s standing there, he’s been praying to God, ‘Oh God, rebuild the city’, and then he says, ‘Give me favor with the king’, he asks the king for favor to rebuild his people’s walls in the city of Jerusalem [this is the same Artaxerxes who in 458/7 made a decree allowing Ezra to go back to Jerusalem in 458/7BC and the third decree given to Nehemiah by this same Artaxerxes I is was given in 445BC.  445BC minus 483 years = 38AD.  This doesn’t fit into the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and baptism or the time of his death, so we must exclude the decree given to Nehemiah by Artaxerxes I in 445BC which this particular pastor thinks it is.  It is the 2nd decree given by Artaxerxes I to Ezra in 458/7BC, which comes to 25BC + add 1 year for the year zero gives you 26AD.  In the fall of 26AD Jesus is baptized by his cousin John the Baptist.  Three and a half years later, in the spring of 30AD, Jesus Christ is crucified.  So this “day of their visitation” could actually be timed to 486.5 years from the going forth of this 2nd decree given by Artaxerxes I of Persia to Ezra the priest.  Jesus died six days later, on the 14th Nisan.  So 483 years “from the going forth of the command to rebuild Jerusalem” in 458BC, takes us to 25AD, plus adding 1 for the year zero, making the beginning of Jesus the Messiah’s ministry at his Baptism, fall of 26AD.  Again, see  Now that I have shot down the pastor’s scenario, let’s hear it anyway.  Understand, a real Holy Spirit inspired and indwelt pastor can still make doctrinal mistakes, we’re all human, and all our doctrinal misunderstandings and mistakes will be corrected when Jesus comes.  It’s our spiritual attitudes that are important, over and above how right we may be on any particular subject.]  And the king [Artaxerxes I, 465-424BC] issues a decree, and he says ‘Go and do it and I’ll give you the resources.  Now, Sir Rollinson a number of years ago discovered writings in the palace of Shushan that determined the issue of the decree that Artaxerxes wrote to build the walls of the city of Jerusalem, we have secular historical discoveries that prove it, it was written exactly on March 14th, 445BC, that’s when the decree went out.  [This would be the 3rd decree, the 2nd one given by Artaxerxes, who did give such a decree to Nehemiah in 445BC to go and rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.  If you’re using this 3rd decree for timing, you’re looking at the wrong decree, because 483 years later was 38/9AD!  Ooops!]  Well Daniel says it will be 69 sevens after that [which is 69 x 7 = 38AD, oops again!]  Interesting thing is, you do this.  Now I used to be a nerd, I was a mechanical engineer.  If  you are one, no offense.  I just say that about myself.  But they’re cool [laughter].  But I used to work as an engineer and I used to challenge them, ‘You can test this book, man, I’m telling you, you read all this nonsense and you hear this stuff on TV, and people don’t even know anything about it.  I’ll challenge you to a Bible study Wednesday night, and you test this, man, this will stand the test.’  In the last 8 years I have not seen one inconsistency in the New Testament.  I’m halfway through the Old Testament and I haven’t seen one inconsistency, it stands the test as the Word of God.  But, I used to challenge engineers, and also prophecy, challenge it historically, challenge it scientifically.  It’s not a book of science, but challenge it.  See if there’s any way that you can disprove what’s here.  Ask any question, let’s go through it and let’s study it.  All this nonsense that you see on TV, I just saw a show come on channel 2 that’s been advertised, and I could tell by the title, it was one of these shows, where they are going to interview the “liberal” guys who don’t know anything.  In all respect I say that [I don’t, don’t have any respect for those idiots].  They’re going to interview him, and he’s all they’re going to interview, and they’re going to tell you, ‘Listen, you know, Jesus is just a regular guy, but later they made it all up centuries later’, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense.  Anyway, here he says this, you take 69 sevens, sevens representing 7 years [Biblical ‘day for a year’ principle], multiply, do the math [69 x 7 = 483 years], if you’re analytical you can do this.  You get 483 years.  It is during the time of the Babylonian calendar, which is 360 days.  You take 483 and multiply it by 360 days, you get 173,880 days.  Jesus in the time of the Julian calendar, divided by 362.5, and you get April 6, 32AD.  [now there is a controversy amongst those differing denominations as to which year Jesus died on, 30AD or 32AD.  But he had to have died on a year where the 14th Nisan would fall on a Wednesday, so that 3 days and three nights from his death at 3pm would equate to 3pm Saturday afternoon.  If he died on a Thursday at 3pm (and we all know from the four Gospels he died at 3pm), he would have arose on Sunday at 3pm.  But that conflicts with Mary’s account of being at the empty tomb on Sunday morning at sunrise.  If he died on a Tuesday he would have arisen on Friday afternoon at 3pm---Oops, that’s Good Friday!  In the Spring of 30AD, Nisan 14 was on a Wednesday.  3pm Wednesday afternoon to Saturday at 3pm is exactly three days and three nights.  And say that it took 2.5 hours to prepare Jesus and put him in the tomb, then 3 days and 3 nights later, at around 5:30 to 6pm, he would be rising from the grave.  So my estimate for the year of his death is 30AD in the Spring of that year. So much for controversy, we’ll find out when he returns.]  I’ve done it.  Just work it through.  [laughter]  It’s interesting, you’ve got to think about it a little bit, because when you go from the BC to the AD it gets a little confusing [no, you just add 1 for the year zero].  But, that is the time of the Passover.  That is this time.  Daniel said, ‘You’re in this exile’, God said to Daniel, ‘and the city’s destroyed.  Understand, it’ll be this much time after the decree’s going to come [i.e. it will be this much time which will go by ‘after the decree has come’], and when it comes, the Messiah the Prince will be there.’  And then as you noticed in Daniel, it said, that after that, he’d be cut off.  And it said specifically, but not for himself.  And in just few days after this, that he’s crucified, and not for himself, he didn’t do anything wrong.  He died for the sin of the world.  And then when it says the walls will be rebuilt in troublesome times, if you study Nehemiah, go back to the decree, they had their swords on their hips because it was such troublesome times when they rebuilt the walls.  And it says right after that “the prince shall come and destroy the city and the sanctuary”, it was less than 40 years [after Christ died].  Well some will say, ‘Of course, it says that, but they wrote it all after that time.’  [The Book of Daniel, for those who like to sling that bull crap, is one of the most accurately dated books of the Bible, because Daniel served under Nebuchadnezzar, a very historically accurately dated figure.]  Hey man, you go to Jerusalem today, go into the Shrine of the Book museum and look at the ancient scrolls that are there, like the Isaiah Scroll, that goes back before the time of Christ, prophecying the Messiah, laid out right there in the Shrine of the Book museum for the Dead Sea Scrolls.  [see] [For another good commentary look at Daniel 9 from another perspective, log onto:;-The-70_weeks-prophecy/default.aspx ]  [The big difference between the two timing calculations is also that they calculate to two differing events in Jesus Christ’s life.  The one I was attempting to show, calculates to when Jesus Christ’s ministry would start, when he would “officially show up on the scene” at his baptism by John the Baptist, 3.5 years prior to his crucifixion.  This pastor giving this sermon is attempting to pin the date of his triumphal entry to 483 years after the giving “the decree” to return and rebuild the streets and walls of Jerusalem. Well the streets were being rebuilt during the time of Ezra and before, so the timing would go to the 2nd major decree, the first one given by Artaxerxes in 458BC, and this calculates to 26AD, 3.5 years before Jesus’ death.  Hope you can see my point.]


How we get 30AD for the year of Jesus’ crucifixion


Well, you know what’s also interesting, I mean, “Messiah the Prince”, this is the only day he let’s people worship him as King.  It’s also on the calendar, it’s the 10th of Nisan on the Jewish Calendar.  [Sorry, he’s off by one day, because he’s looking at the wrong year, 32AD.  It is really 30AD, which makes this day the 9th Nisan.  Again, check out for the timing of Jesus’ last six days.  These are well-intentioned Gentile Christian pastors giving these sermons, and they do not understand the proper timing of this important Passover, and that Jesus had to die on a Wednesday in order to be resurrected late Saturday afternoon, so Mary would spot the empty tomb just around sunrise of the following Sunday morning.  The only year where Passover would occur on Wednesday within a two year span either way was 30AD.  Some scholars refer to Daniel’s prophecy of Seventy Weeks to determine the year of the crucifixion.  Taking the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem as 458/7BC (the second decree, given by Artaxerxes I, the first decree being given by Cyrus) gives a date of 30AD for the crucifixion.  No wonder this pastor tries to use the 3rd decree, given by Artaxerxes in 445BC.  But it doesn’t calculate out properly.  For a detailed study showing why 30AD was the only year within the proper range of years for Jesus’ death where the 14th Nisan fell on a Wednesday, see the comprehensive study about the Hebrew Calendar by Carl D. Franklin at:]  It’s right before the Passover, we know it’s the 10th of Nisan [really the 9th of Nisan], which Moses in Exodus calls it Abib [Abib really means “green ear”].  This was a specific day on the Jewish calendar, because on that day, the people were to bring their lambs to the temple, to present to the priests so that they could inspect them, to make sure that they were without spot and without blemish, so that they could be offered on the Passover.  [Actually the very next day, which was on the 10th Nisan, Jesus did go to the temple, and cast out the money changers, forcing the hand of the priests to really select Jesus for death.]  So this one day, he comes as the Prince, the Messiah.  But also at the same day [actually the next day], he comes as the Lamb of God, without spot and without blemish.  And he’s going to be inspected by the Jewish authorities  in a moment [over the next few days, but inspired by what he does on the actual 10th Nisan], people will even say, Pilate will say, ‘The guy’s done nothing wrong.  But then he’ll be crucified.  Well, they missed the day of their visitation.  The multitudes sing Hosanna, which is “save now, deliver we pray”, quoting Psalm 118, verses 21 to 26, that area there, that’s part of that Hillel that was sung during the Passover, very interestingly, at all the great feasts. And Psalm 118 too is interesting to me, if you read it, I was reading it this morning and thinking about this.  Psalm 118, you know, talking about the nation of Israel, the Psalmist says ‘We were chastened severely, but not given over to death’, and he’s writing about all these nations and the history and the struggle, and then it’s like prophetically he looks into the future and he looks right to this day, and so he quotes, says these statements, this Psalmist in Psalm 118.  But it is sad, they say [sing] these things, but in John 19 in just a few days, they [not actually these people, but another crowd under the high priest’s authority] will say ‘We have no king but Caesar.’  The heart of man, I tell you man, the TV, they can just start developing TV programs, and it’s almost like the Pied Piper, man, we just follow right in line, you know what I mean?  That’s just man, so often.  Well, the city is moved, it says it’s moved in the sense that it’s like an earthquake, and they’re saying ‘Who is this?’.  Magi came in a long time ago when he was born [estimated number of Magi was about 300, not merely 3], 30 whatever years ago, and all Jerusalem was troubled, Matthew chapter 2, verse 3, here the King is coming, and now the city is shaken.  Luke then tells us, as this is happening, some of the Pharisees call to him from the crowd, and they say “‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples,’ but he answered and said, ‘I tell you, if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.’”  And I don’t know about you, I believe they would too, although I’ll confess to you I’ve never heard a stone cry out and speak.  But I believe they would, because this day was on God’s Calendar, it was a day that was ordained, even the Creation.  We read in Romans 8, the creation waits earnestly, the creation’s under the curse, the sin, and it awaits earnestly to be delivered from this curse.  And one day, as we’ve studied in Revelation, Jesus Christ is going to take that title deed to the earth from God the Father, and we’ll have the Tribulation period, and the world will be brought back to where it was ordained to be.  But here he is, coming in, and I’m sure the rocks would have cried out.  I’m sure they would have, if the people were silenced.  You know, there’s a picture here, if you look at the picture, you’ve got Jesus riding on an animal, an animal, if you or I were to get on this animal, let’s face it, if you go on an animal that’s never been ridden, you go on a colt that’s never been ridden, things probably aren’t going to go very well for you.  It’s just the way it works.  We have to break donkeys and horses, we have to ride them and go through this period of time to get them to submit.  This animal, it says, has never been ridden, he gets on it, and you’d never know it hadn’t been broken-in, this animal is in complete submission to him.  And then you have the people worshipping and crying out to him, and Jesus saying that even the rocks would cry out to him, there is a statement there, there’s a picture as we read this, about who Jesus is, that ALL the creatures, ALL creation should be submitted to him.  It eventually will be.  But everything should be, everything ultimately will be, he’s over everything, the animals, the creatures, the people, the rocks, he’s above all things.  You know, the Bible says that at some point, every knee shall bow before him and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and I believe even the rocks will cry out.  You know, people have said, you can choose to bend the knee know, or you can choose the bend the knee the knee later, but better to bend it now.  Because if you bend it later, and you die and you stand before God, and you’ve never bent your knee before God before and humbled yourself before Christ, it won’t be a very pleasant experience for you.  But you can choose to bend the knee now, because he’s Christ, he’s Lord, and he comes and he visits man.  The Holy Spirit works in everybody’s lives, poking and moving, and seeking to draw people to God.  It’s so powerful that this animal has submitted, you see that gentleness, lowly, sitting on a donkey.  Wherever Jesus went that donkey went, that colt, and I like that picture too in my life.  I pray my life would be like that, submitted to him, just under his hand, and under his control, under his leading.  He’s the King of kings, he’s the Lord of lords.  Last verse, the multitudes, they said, ‘Who is this, and then those who were with him say “this is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”  Now, that wasn’t common for the people to say, “this is the prophet”, although you remember Peter was asked ‘What do men say that I am?’  and one said ‘One of the prophets’, and in John we do see that there was that sense of the prophet.  There was indeed an expectation in the Jewish eschatology, the Jews believed that one day there would come this Messiah who would be the Prophet, Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 15, Moses said “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren.  Him you shall hear.”  And so they called him the Prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.  But there is in the Jewish culture, and maybe many are even thinking, that in this anticipation of The Prophet who was to come, he is The Prophet, and him you shall hear.  And when we look in the passage, you see the Messiah, you see the Prophet, One I should submit to and One I should hear, One I should follow.  Let’s close in prayer…[connective expository sermon on Matthew 21:1-11, given somewhere in New England]    


Related links


Last six days of Jesus Christ:


Hebrew Calendar, 30AD year of crucifixion verified:


There’s a difference between the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah:


What is the Gospel?  See:


Dead Sea Scrolls validate prophecies and prophets:


Commentary on Daniel 9:;-The-70_weeks-prophecy/default.aspx

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