CHRIST'S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM, #662
On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (JOH 12:12-13)
As the Lord Jesus is coming into Jerusalem to be crucified, He is given a foretaste of that glory that lies beyond. Before this He did not allow others to make Him known. MAT 12:16-18 says, "And charged them that they should not make him known. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles."
We find a similar principle taught when Jesus came down from the Mount of Transfiguration where He was transformed before the eyes of three apostles, and they saw Him in a glorified state. MAR 9:9 says, "And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead."
His own brothers urged Jesus in JOH 7:4: "If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world." His answer in verse 6 was, "My time is not yet come." His own brothers thought that He should display His miraculous powers to the world. The distinction between these instances and the scenario in our text is clearly found in JOH 12:23: "And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified."
In this instance our Saviour was not seeking His own glory, but He was fulfilling what was written of Him in ZEC 9:9, which says, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." This is fulfilled in JOH 12:13-15. They "took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written. Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt."
So, as that hour approached, our blessed Saviour in His human nature, shrunk at the sight of death. Death was just as genuine for our Saviour as it was for any human being. Do you know why? He was made to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He died a malefactor's death. He took upon Him the shame and the pain of death. JOH 12:27 says, "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?" It was essential for Him to be able to remove that dread of death for His people. He had to take it in their behalf, so that we are able to look beyond death and see the Promised Land. Such unconditional fulfilling of the law, such unconditional fulfilling of the will of the Father, was required for Him to purchase our salvation. This is what made His blood acceptable in the eyes of the Father, to the appeasing of His wrath upon our sins, because He without reservation, submitted to the will of God in giving His life as a ransom for His people.
We must learn to understand the significance of the obedience of faith. It was by the obedience of faith that our Saviour obtained the victory over death and the grave. HEB 12:2 says, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
As that hour became real, the Father gave His Son a foretaste of that joy that was set before Him. He was given a foretaste of that joy whereby He received faith to endure the cross. True saving faith cannot be separated from obedience with an eye on the reward. Every principle that is taught in the Scriptures can be observed by watching the footsteps of our Saviour.
HEB 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Faith, the obedience of faith, comes by having the eye on the reward, and this is what the Lord Jesus did.
By faith Noah obeyed and received the reward. HEB 11:7 says, "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." The reward was laid before Him. He obeyed in the preparing of the ark. Why? For the saving of his house. God told Noah He was going to destroy the world with a flood and commanded him to build an ark for the saving of his house. Noah did not see any clouds in the sky. It was an act of faith that he built a ship on dry land. He was mocked by the world, but he despised the shame.
Abraham was saved by faith with his eye on the reward. HEB 11:8-10 says, "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." If he had walked by sight, he would have never have left, any more than Noah would have ever built an ark if he had walked by sight. There was a reward. There was something that lay in the distance that he did not have any tangible hand on. But he walked by faith, the obedience of faith.
What did Moses do? HEB 11:24-26 says, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward." This is faith, when by faith we obey looking to the reward. God is a rewarder. He rewards every man according to his doings.
After the apostle Paul has set forth all these monuments of faith, who had obeyed with their eyes upon the reward, he directs our eyes to the imputed faith of Christ Jesus. HEB 12:1-2 says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
The reward of His faith upon which Jesus had his eye is set forth in PHI 2:9-11. "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
But also look at REV 5:11-12. "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." And that word power may also be translated as authority. That authority that was given Him. That authority that is placed upon that name of Jesus, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. This is the reward that was placed before Him.
As Jesus approached the cross He received a foretaste of this glory. He received a foretaste of that bowing to that authority as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus' kingly authority was expressed by laying their garments down in His way as the custom was in Israel when anointing a king. 2KI 9:13 says, "Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king."
Jesus received a foretaste of bowing to His kingly authority as He came into Jerusalem. MAT 21:8-11 says, "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 multitudes 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."
The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. He was being glorified by a foretaste of that glory that the Father had in store for Him as His reward. This wonder, this fulfilling of this prophecy, is what hastened the hour. MAT 21:14-15 says, "And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased."
This glory that was bestowed upon Him moved the scribes and the Pharisees and chief priests with jealousy. Notice JOH 11:57, "The chief priests and Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him." However, He came riding into Jerusalem and the multitudes were crying, Hosanna. There was no mistake about where He was. It was such a demonstration of His fearlessness for their threat of what they might do to Him. He showed no fear of man. They thought they had to pay a traitor thirty pieces of silver to help them find Him, but here He is standing in the Temple and the children are crying, Hosanna to the son of David. They were sore displeased, but they could not take Him until it was the Lord's time.
JOH 12:19 says, "The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him." The chief priests and the Pharisees determined to kill Jesus when He raised Lazarus. JOH 11:48-50 says, "If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not."
If we have received that imputed faith of Christ, we will see preciousness in His obedience to the will of the Father in giving Himself. 1PE 2:7 says, "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious." Do you know why? You and I understand that it was through Christ's obedience that He purchased our salvation. The blood of Christ took away His Father's wrath upon our sin. We see the law satisfied in our behalf. We see such blessed preciousness in the fact that we are not able to keep that law with perfection, but now His perfect obedience may be imputed to us.
2CO 5:21 says, "But unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner." Those who are disobedient will find that He has become their judge. Every thought must come into subjection to the obedience of Christ.
This obedience or submission of Christ becomes the head cornerstone of our foundation. 1CO 3:11 says, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." There is no other foundation for our hope. There is no other foundation for our glory. There is no other foundation than that precious obedience of Christ whereby He gave His life's blood as a ransom. It was by such perfect obedience that He appeased the Father's wrath, in giving His life's blood.
When our faith is centered in this foundation we receive spiritual nourishment. 1PE 2:3-5 says, "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." As Christ becomes formed in us, that Spirit of Christ, that obedience of faith, is worked in our hearts by grace. We become lively stones. We become a reflector of who Christ is.
What does it mean, a holy priesthood? What is the office of a priest? It is to offer sacrifices, and you and I will find we walk in an acceptable way with God when we are able to put our all on the altar of sacrifice, when we can sacrifice everything of I and of self and of the world and of sin and everything that would please the flesh. It must all be put on the altar. We must write death upon it. It must be crucified. We pick up our cross and follow Christ in the way of the cross.
As we read in SON 5:10-16: "My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem." Now we are not ashamed to identify with Him. Now we are not ashamed to identify with His way of the cross, taking up the cross, crucifying everything of self. There is no other way to be reconciled with the Father.
ACT 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." There is no other way that we can be reconciled with the Father. If you want to know the will of God then you need to ask: What did Jesus do? How would you follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ in this set of circumstances?
JOH 14:18 says, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." As surely as we follow Jesus in the way of the cross, we shall follow Him in the way to glory. We not only follow Him in the way of the cross, we follow Him to glory.
JOH 10:27-28 says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." A reward is placed out before us, for the obedience of faith. We must understand that following Christ is not all in the way of the cross. We follow Him in the way of the cross to glory, and there we will sit with Him on His throne.
Rather than see one of His poor widows perish for food we find as in 1KI 17:14, "For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth." Do we understand a little of the Lord providing on a day to day basis? When He put more meal in that barrel, when He put more oil in that cruse, there was never more than just enough for more than one more cake. He did not fill the barrel full so they would have enough to last for two more years. There was never more than just enough for one more meal. And this is the way the Lord leads you and me to walk by faith, that we start walking by the obedience of faith.
And what is the obedience of faith that He requires of us? That is that we trust Him, that our eyes of faith are fixed on the trustworthiness of our Lord, and now we walk by faith trusting in the Lord. We find the foundation of perfect peace when we learn to understand what it is to trust the Lord. We are able to walk by faith, not by sight. You look at that empty barrel, and you think that another meal will not come out except that that barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.
Jeremiah was shut up in prison by the king who hated him for telling the truth, yet see how the Lord used this same king to feed His faithful servant. JER 37:21 says, "Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah into the court of the prison, and that they should give him daily a piece of bread out of the bakers' street, until all the bread in the city were spent. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison." He did not starve, even though the Lord had sent a famine on the city. Even though the king himself should come short, Jeremiah never went hungry. The Lord provided, and He used the very enemy who put Him in prison to make the provision.
Our King owns all the silver and all the gold as we see in MAT 17:27 where He said to the Apostle Peter, "Go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." The Lord provides in a miraculous way. The Lord provides in ways that you and I would have never dreamed of.
One time the Lord gave me a rich promise. For twenty years I had supposed that it would happen this way, and then I had supposed that it would happen that way, and then I had supposed that it would happen that way. After twenty years the Lord fulfilled that promise in a way that had never entered my mind.
HEB 11:32-34 says, "And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens."
That same Lord is Lord today. That same God rules in the heavens today. We have these little deliverances. By the obedience of faith the Lord leads us into these little deliverances. Sometimes they are only for one day at a time, but He gives us these provisions for a foretaste of our glory.
If our hearts are not closed by rebellion we will receive a foretaste of our reward, in a spiritual sense. REV 3:20 says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The Lord in his providence is knocking on our door in so many ways and proving to us His faithfulness. He is proving to us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Are we able to recognize the Lord's hand in these things? He says, That is me standing at the door of your heart knocking. We have perfect peace in these circumstances because we have been able to recognize the hand of God knocking on our door in these things.
When our hearts are in submission as Jesus was in that hour, then His joy will become our joy. Then we will have an eye of faith to see that we not only follow Him in the way of the cross, but that we will follow Him on to glory, and that we will be able to follow Him to the throne that He is now seated upon.
If we want to come to where Jesus is, the way to get there is to follow His footsteps of how He got there. It was in the way of obedience of faith. It was in the way of rejoicing in the joy that was set before Him as He was taking His cross, as He was suffering His shame. His eye was not fixed on the present circumstances, but His eye of faith was fixed upon the joy that was set before Him.
In JOH 15:10-11 we read, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." We need to know the road that leads to glory. We need to know how the footsteps of Jesus must be followed to get to glory. Our Saviour is admonishing us to follow His footsteps in the way of obedience of faith, in the way of crucifying the old man of sin, in the way of obedience to the will of God, the law of love.
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