JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as a gentle king.
According to Matthew 21, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. As Jesus entered, the crowds shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
The fact that Jesus rode on a donkey meant that He was riding in peace, not in war. If He came to wage war, He would have been riding a horse. But Jesus was coming to Jerusalem with an offer of peace, which would be ultimately fulfilled the following week when He laid down His life for us at the cross.
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey.”
The appearance of Jesus as a gentle king is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason To Believe is the city of Jerusalem.
In the headlines, it is the subject of controversy today. In the Bible, it is described as the holy city. Jerusalem means “City of Peace.”
According to Ezekiel 5:5, the LORD says, “This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.”
Jerusalem is the city where the temple stood as a place of worship.
Jerusalem is the city where Jesus entered to present Himself as a gentle king, riding on a donkey.
Jerusalem is the city where Jesus was tried and condemned to death. He would die just outside the holy city as a sacrifice for our sins.
Jerusalem is the place where the Holy Spirit came in power on the early church.
Jerusalem was the launching point for the Gospel to spread around the world.
And according to Jeremiah 3:17, Jerusalem will be called “The Throne of the LORD.”
The significant events surrounding the city of Jerusalem reveals that God’s redemptive plan is central to our hope for lasting peace and is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – As Jesus entered the holy city on a donkey, a very large crowd was there to spread cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds were shouting, “Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Hosanna is a word that means “save.” This word was a cry of the Old Testament. Psalm 118:25 says, “O LORD, save us.” In Jesus, the prayer for salvation becomes a declaration of praise. “Salvation belongs to our God.” Jesus rode into Jerusalem with shouts of joy from a welcoming crowd.
In a matter of days, the cry on the streets would not be for Jesus to save them, but for Pontius Pilate to crucify Jesus. What Jesus’ opponents did not know was that by going to the cross, Jesus was fulfilling God’s purpose of saving His people from their sins. Our plea for salvation becomes an answer to prayer through Jesus Christ.
The shout of Hosanna is a lesson of faith worth remembering.