Matt 21:5 Behold, Thy King Cometh unto Thee 10/7/2018 ßà
#1. Tell Ye the Daughter of Sion (Matt 21:5, Matt 1:21, Rom 2:28-29,25, Zech 9:9-10)
#2. That It Might Be Fulfilled (Matt 21:4, 1:22, 2:5,15,17,23)
#3. A Celebration Full of Joy (Matt 21:9, Psalm 118:24-26)
Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 21:1 (2X). In our whirlwind tour through the Gospel of Matthew we have come to chapter 21, and now we have to slow down quite a bit. This chapter begins on the Sunday before the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, and therefore it would be wise to look at chapters 21 through 28 more carefully. The content of Matt 21:1-11 is known as Palm-Sunday. It describes the triumphal entry of the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem. Therefore the title of today’s sermon is, “Behold, Thy King Cometh unto Thee” (2X). But the theme throughout this entire chapter is actually: “God is done with the nation of Israel as a special nation before Him” (2X). We can see this theme most clearly in the cursing of the fig tree, and in the last two parables of this chapter. This is the first of the objectives of this chapter. The second objective God has is to show His sovereignty. And the third objective God has is to fulfill the Scriptures. Let us now look at God’s second objective:
Mt 21:3-4 And if any man say ought 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,
Mt 21:7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
Mt 21:11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
We see here a remarkable turnaround of Jesus behavior. Until now we have seen Him withdrawing Himself, retiring into the wilderness, and avoiding a confrontation with the religious rulers. But now we see Him making a public entry into Jerusalem, attended by an immense crowd, and causing even the Pharisees to say, “Behold, the world has gone after Him”. Keep in mind that it was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who took the initiative at every point. And throughout this entire event we see the sovereignty of God in all its details. We see here that the Lord rules in the affairs of both saved and unsaved man. It was the Lord who caused the owners of the two donkeys immediately to release them. It was the Lord who caused the multitude to spread on the ground their garments and tree branches in the way. It was the Lord who prompted a very great multitude to say, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest”. They used the name “Son of David”, which was a title specifically honoring the Messiah, who would come as the Son of David. And if Jesus would have desired it, they would have crowned Him king over Israel on that day. But it was also the same multitude who five days later cried out, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him”. And this too was the will of God in them that they switched from hailing Him on Sunday to leaving them in their unbelief on Friday. We read of God’s work in them in Acts 4:28, where the disciples recount the events of the cross. There we read:
Ac 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
God’s counsel determined it, and God’s hand made certain that Christ would be crucified. But here, on the Sunday before, God’s hand caused the Lord Jesus to enter Jerusalem victoriously.
#1. Tell Ye the Daughter of Sion (Matt 21:5, Matt 1:21, Rom 2:28-29,25, Zech 9:9-10)
Mt 21:5 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.
This is a quotation from Zechariah. Who is the daughter of Sion? Does this refer to the nation of the Jews? Put a sticker here in Matt 21 and please turn to the Prophecy of Zechariah, Zech 9:9 (2X). You find Zechariah near the end of your OT, just before Malachi. The Lord Jesus is called “a King”. Is that not amazing? Is He the earthly king of Israel? The Lord Jesus said clearly to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world”. We need to harmonize all these pieces of information. If Jesus is King of the Jews, then that would leave me out, and it would leave most of you out, for we are not blood descendants of Jacob. Who really are the subjects of this King? God declares in Matt 1:21, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”. Who are His people? Again, if “His people” would refer to the nation of the Jews then that would leave me out, for I am not a descendant of Jacob. And so, we are irresistibly drawn to believe that the term “His people” refers to all those whom He came to save. Like-wise, Jesus is not the king of the physical Jews, the physical descendants of Jacob, but He is King over all those whom He came to save, who are Jews in the sense of Rom 2:28-29. And there we read,
This is God’s definition of who are Jews after the cross. All those who remain in unbelief are no longer Jews in God’s sight, for God declared in Rom 2:25, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision”. This is God’s definition of who are disqualified to be called Jews after the cross. Now we can understand Zech 9:9-10,
This passage speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ riding victoriously into His kingdom, symbolized by the
city of Jerusalem. What is His method of conquering His kingdom? Verse 10 says that He will cut off the chariot and the horse and the battle bow, for the chariot and the horse and the battle bow are used in conventional warfare. Instead He will speak peace to the Gentiles, and He will be so successful that His dominion shall be to the ends of the earth. This will be the nature of His kingdom: He will rule in the souls of those whom He came to save, and He will save people from all nations, unto the ends of the earth. That is why the Lord Jesus said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world”. His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. But let us now see what God says in verse 9. Zech 9:9 says:
Z 9:9 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.
If Christ is that King, and if we are His subjects, then this defines who the daughter of Zion is. All the elect are the daughter of Zion, which means that all the elect are also called the daughter of Jerusalem. That is why we read in Heb 12:22, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels”. You see, the figure that is used in Zech 9:9 and in Matt 21:5 is that of Jesus taking possession of Jerusalem and of the temple in Jerusalem. But this is only a type and a figure of the real kingdom the Lord Jesus laid claim of on this Sunday before His crucifixion. He did not want the Jerusalem made of bricks and mortar, for we read in Gal 4:25-26, “For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all”. You see, after the cross the “Jerusalem which now is”, which symbolizes the present day nation of the Jews, is in bondage with here children. When God speaks of someone being in bondage, it means that he or she is in bondage to sin and Satan, and is on the way to Hell. Since there are only two groups of people in the world, the elect whom God has saved or will save, and all the rest whom God will never save, this is why when we read in Zech 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee”, God is addressing only the elect who were in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Then God speaks in Zech 9:9 of the attributes of Christ. We read, “He is just and having salvation”. The word “just” is the same word as “righteous”. Christ is righteous before God. He is the spotless Lamb of God. And the words “having salvation” is in the passive tense of the verb “to save”. And thus the meaning of the words “having salvation” is actually “having been saved” or “having been victorious in battle”. It points to the battle between Christ and Satan at the atonement, where Christ endured passively the equivalent of an eternity in Hell and after that He rose victoriously from the grave. Then we read in Zech 9:9, “lowly”, which actually means “poor”, and “humble”. Christ was poor, for even the ass on which He rode was borrowed. Christ was humble, for He did not come riding into Jerusalem on a royal horse, but on a lowly donkey. Moreover, He did not only ride into Jerusalem using one ass, but also a colt, the foal of an ass. We should not imagine that the Lord Jesus physically was standing on two donkeys while He rode into Jerusalem. In Matthew we read that they brought the ass and the colt to Jesus, in Mark and in Luke we read that they set Jesus upon the colt, which was a very young colt “whereon yet never man sat”. Why did the Lord Jesus choose to use two donkeys? He chose them to fulfill Scripture. Not only was God pointing specifically to Zech 9:9, but God was also pointing to a passage in Gen 49, a prophecy uttered by Jacob. Do we remember the words of Matt 21:8?
It was five days before the Passover. And thus Jerusalem was filled with Jews from all over the area who came to fulfill their annual obligation to appear before the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem at the time of Passover. Three times each year must they appear before the Lord: at Passover, at Pentecost, and at the Feast of Tabernacles. And so, it was God who arranged that there was a great multitude. We read in
Mt 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
What was their intent to spread their garments on the ground so that Jesus and His donkeys walked on it and soiled their garments? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 61:10 (2X). We can search for reasons in the culture of those days, or for reasons whereby they expressed their humble submission to this new found Messiah, but all those explanations are not found in the Bible. We should rather search for reasons given in the Bible why they despised their own garments that much that they were willing to have the donkeys tread on them. And thus we need to look for the spiritual meaning of those garments. What do our own garments symbolize in the Bible? We read in Isa 61:10,
Isa 61:10 ¶
We read here that “God has clothed us with the garments of salvation”. What are those garments with which God has clothed us? God calls it “the robe of righteousness”. In other words, before we were saved, even though we were elect, we were unrighteous in His eyes, for God says in Eph 2:3, that “we all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”. But at the time that we were “born from above” God the Holy Spirit regenerated our soul, and God applied the payment that Christ made on the cross, and wiped away all our past, present, and future sins, so that in our soul we became righteous in His sight. At the moment of us becoming “born from above”, our souls became perfectly fit to come into the presence of God in heaven, so that when our body dies our soul immediately goes to live and reign with Christ in heaven. And spiritually speaking, God covered our bodies with the robe of His righteousness, so that His righteousness is imputed to our bodies also, even though we still live in bodies that are inclined to sin. Literally however the text takes on a different meaning than is described in our KJ Bibles and it modifies somewhat the spiritual meaning of the second half of this verse. Literally we read: “God has put on me the robe of righteousness like as a bridegroom is adorned with his ornaments, and like as the bride wears her jewels”. And notice that the ornaments are different for the groom than for the bride. The Bridegroom’s ornament is a head-dress, or a turban, or a crown, whereas the Bride’s jewels are instruments, or weapons, or armor. The reason for this is that the Bride-groom refers to Christ, whereas the Bride refers to the Bride of Christ, which the Scriptures identify as the eternal church, the nucleus of saved individuals in the church militant, who are always at war with Satan and his demons. Also the verbs indicating the putting on are different for the two. The Bridegroom decks Himself with the attire of a priestly office, whereas the Bride puts on her weapons of war, as we find in Col 3:8-14. The conclusion of Isa 61:10 is that our own garments are representing our own righteousness, not the righteousness given by God. And since our own righteousness is only self-righteousness, it is filthy in God’s sight. That is why the Lord caused the multitude to cast their garments on the ground, to be trampled under foot, as a token, or as a symbol of the unrighteousness of their own garments, and that their own garments would have to be replaced by the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Of course this would only come to pass for those in the multitude who would be saved, for certainly not the whole multitude would be saved, as will be shown clearly five days later when they cried, “Crucify Him”. Let us now return to Matt 21:4 (2X).
#2. That It Might Be Fulfilled (Matt 21:4, 1:22, 2:5,15,17,23)
The third objective of the Lord Jesus when He rode victoriously into Jerusalem was to fulfill Scripture. In fact the fulfillment of Scripture is a dominant theme throughout the Gospel of Matthew. Time and again the words in the Gospel of Matthew ask us to compare with the OT Scriptures. We read in Matt 21
Mt 21:4, All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
For example, God says in Matt 1:22, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying”. And in Matt 2:5 we read the response of the priests and the scribes to the king, “And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet”. Then Joseph and Mary and Jesus fled into Egypt, and we read in Matt 2:15, “And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son”. Concerning the wrath of king Herod we read in Matt 2:17, “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying”. And when Joseph and Mary and Jesus returned from Egypt we read in Matt 2:23, “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene”. All these references are almost in one chapter. And so it goes throughout the Gospel of Matthew, and throughout most of the NT Therefore we see that it is the Lord’s will that we dig into the OT Scriptures to compare and get edified by these references in the OT. Now concerning the fact that the Lord rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, we have another OT prophecy we must read. Please turn to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 49:10 (2X).
In Gen 49 Jacob gave his last speech before he died. But it was God who spoke through the mouth of Jacob, addressing the thirteen tribes of Israel. Jacob’s introduction of his last message to his sons is most remarkable. We read in Gen 49:1, “And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days”. Now “the last days” clearly refer everywhere in the Bible as the NT time. And thus God gave us here prophecies of the NT time in the form of parables. One of those parables refers to Judah. We read in Gen 49:10-11
Paraphrased God says in verse 10, “Judah shall continue to have self-rule until Shiloh comes, and then shall the obedience of the people switch from Judah to Shiloh”. The sceptre in principle is the tribal rod which the king holds in his hand as a symbol of his authority. And when we look down OT history we see that, except for a brief period of 47 years in Babylonian captivity, Judah had self-rule in matters of religious worship. Even in troubled times like under the Medo-Persian Empire, or under the Greek Empire, or under the Roman Empire, Judah ruled their own affairs in matters of religious worship, until Shiloh, the Peacemaker, came. And when the Lord Jesus Christ rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, this prophecy was fulfilled. God allowed Jerusalem to stand for a short while for the germination of the NT church but 37 years after Christ’s triumphal entry Jerusalem was totally destroyed. It was the completion of the prophecy uttered by Jacob, and it was God’s sign to the NT church that they should break away totally from Judaism and from the ceremonial law. But let us now consider the words of Gen 49:11. We read there, “He washed His garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes”. This refers to Shiloh, the Peacemaker, the Messiah, and twice the same washing is referred to. In most places in the Bible wine, or the fruit of the vine, or the blood of grapes, refers to the wrath of God. When the wrath of God is appeased, then salvation shall come. In other words, when Messiah shall have washed away the sins that have stained His clothes, and have washed them away with the wrath of God, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, then salvation shall come. Then we read in the first half of verse 11, “Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine”. The vine is pointing to the nation of Israel, and the choice vine is pointing to the Lord Jesus, for Christ said in John 15:1, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman”. And so, verse 11 says that “While Christ is binding His male donkey to the nation of Israel, and the child of His donkey to Himself, He is washing His garments and His clothes through the atoning process at the cross”. It follows then that the two donkeys represent two groups of people. Those whom He binds to Himself are those whose sins He is washing away in wine and in the blood of grapes. Those whom He binds to the vine representing the nation of Israel are those who are not bound to Christ, but they are bound to works gospels similar to those of the nation of Israel. And thus, when Shiloh comes there must be a switch away from the nation of Israel, and toward the nation that shows its obedience to Christ. And that is how Jacob’s prophecy of Gen 49:10-11 perfectly fits the theme of Matt 21. Before we return to Matt 21, we should look at one more prophecy concerning Christ’s coming.
Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Daniel, Dan 9:24 (2X).
The point in time that Dan 24 refers to was in the year that the kingdom of Babylon was overthrown by the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians. It was then that Daniel finally understood the prophecy of Jeremiah that God would accomplish 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And it was then that God revealed to Daniel the timing of Messiah’s coming. We read in Dan 9:24-27,
Da 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Da 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
In this prophecy of the seventy sevens, for the word week is actually the word seven, God stated that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until the coming of Messiah there shall be seventy sevens. There are actually two time paths given in this prophecy. Verse 24 gives one path and verses 25-27 give another path, leading to the same result. Let us look at verse 24. God says here that there will be 490 years from the going forth of the commandment until Messiah the Prince. The amazing thing is that from the time Ezra received the commandment, in 458 BC, to restore the Law of God in Jerusalem until the year AD 33 is exactly 490 years. Therefore we can conclude that to restore the Law of God is essentially to proclaim the Gospel, for the Law is an essential component of the Gospel. And to proclaim the Gospel is to partake in building the city of God, the New Jerusalem. Therefore we can be sure that AD 33 was the year that the Lord Jesus was crucified. In AD 33 the Passover fell on Friday, April 3. And it was on that date, at about 3 O’clock in the afternoon that the Lord Jesus died. God says here that at the end of 490 years, which means in AD 33, the following prophecies were fulfilled: #1, to finish the transgression on behalf of those who are being saved from Hell. #2, to make an end of sins, so that we will be liberated from violating the Law of God. #3, to make atonement for iniquity, which occurred for all our sins at the cross. #4, to bring in everlasting righteousness for those whom He came to save. #5, to seal up the vision and prophecy when Christ hung on the cross, for God put His seal on the whole program of salvation and upon Christ as the Savior. #6, to anoint the most Holy identifies with the Holy of Holies in the temple, and it points to the cross, at which time the Lord Jesus was our High Priest who spiritually brought His own blood behind the veil into the Holy of Holies. Therefore, knowing this that our sins are gone, and that we will never stand for judgment again before the throne of God, and that we have been adopted into the family of God as sons of God and as the Bride of Christ, we have abundant cause for rejoicing. Let us then have a feast.
#3. A Celebration Full of Joy (Matt 21:9, Psalm 118:24-26)
Please turn again to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 21:9 (2X). A very great multitude spread their garments in the way, and others cut down branches from the trees and strawed them in the way, which means they scattered these branches on the road. And then we read in Matt 21:9,
Mt 21:9 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.
Did the multitude know what they were saying? No! They did not understand what they were saying. They were just copying one another, for it was God who caused this great outburst of joy. It was God who orchestrated this whole event, for it was God who put these words in their mouths to teach us the truths behind their words. The majority of the nation of Israel until this day does not want the Lord Jesus as their Messiah. But they used the words that are found in the Psalms. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 118:24 (2X). Here in Psalm 118:24 we find the parallel between the rest we have in Christ and the Sabbath rest. Do we rejoice when it is Sunday, or is it a dreg? Are we looking forward to the Sunday worship? And how are we teaching our children that the Sunday worship is their top priority, and not a ball game, or some other sports event? We read in Psalm 118:24-26,
Did we see the word Hosanna here? Yes! It is the word “Save now”. The Greek word Hosanna is derived from two Hebrew words which mean “Save now”, but these two words are pronounced as Hosanna. And so we see that the Jews were delighted to have Jesus as their king, as long as He would bring them physical prosperity. They were beseeching Him to send physical prosperity to the nation of Israel. And so, they rejoiced like as they were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. And then we read: “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD”. Indeed the Jews were rejoicing that the Lord Jesus came in the Name of Jehovah. But should we not also rejoice in this every Sunday? Should we not rejoice if we can hear preaching that is faithful to the Word of God? And if we can hear the Word of God expounded from 9:45 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon and from 6 O’clock till 8 O’clock in the evening every Sunday, can we rejoice in that? It sometimes baffles me that so very few show up for these joyous occasions. But let me not complain, for you do not know what you are missing. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 12:15 (2X).
We have here a parallel passage of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. But we find here some information that is not covered in the other three Gospels. We read in John 12:15-16 (2X)
We read in verse 16, “These things were written of Him”. Actually, the Greek text says it in a more profound way: “These things were on Him having been written”. Our KJV has the preposition: "OF Him", but the Greek text says: "ON Him". In other words: These things that have been written throughout the entire OT were on Christ, as if He was clothed with it. But of course, now we know that the Lord Jesus was the Word made flesh; He was the Word incarnate; He said: "Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God". King David wrote of the triumphal entry of the Lord Jesus 1000 years before Christ rode into Jerusalem. Let me read to you from Psalm 24:7-10,
Psalm 24:7-10 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Why then would His disciples be so slow in understanding these things, which were written all over Him? It was because the honors of the kingdom attracted them, but the shame of the cross repelled them. To the very end they had hoped that He would restore the kingdom of David and establish His throne in Jerusalem. These are the very same issues that the Premillennial doctrines raise today. They too want Christ to reign on this earth from Jerusalem for 1000 years. The honors of the kingdom attract them, but the shame of the cross repels them. If people see only the shame of the cross, then their spiritual eyes have not been opened, and they are still under condemnation. You must see the glory and the triumph of the cross, and you must see the righteousness of God being vindicated, and you must see the victory of Christ over Satan. Think of the various reasons why the apostle Paul said in 1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified”. The Lord Jesus appeals to us, as He did to His disciples 2000 years ago, in Luke 24:25-26, where He says,
And notice that we are talking about “these things”. “These things” were spoken three times in John 12:16 and “these things” are again mentioned in Luke 24:26. You see, “all these things” speak of the sovereignty of God, and of the determination of Christ to fulfill the Scriptures. Should we then not also look for all these things in the Bible, so that we can rejoice in the glory of God, and celebrate with Christ His victories? AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.