I. THE FIRST THING THAT WE NOTICE ABOUT THIS DAY IS THAT JESUS IS DELIBERATELY SETTING THE STAGE.
A. He sent two of His disciples into the village to bring the colt to Him.
1. We note that it was an unbroken colt.
2. No man had ever sat on it.
B. He was setting the stage for the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah,
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.
1. Prior to this time Jesus had deliberately discouraged any kind of public demonstration or public acknowledgement of Him as the Messiah.
2. After Jesus had fed the multitude with the 5 loaves and the two fish they were saying, This is truly the prophet that is to come into the world.
When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
3. When Jesus cleansed the leper in Matthew 8
he told him to tell no man, but go and show himself to the priest.
4. In Matthew 16
He charged His disciples to tell no man that He was the Messiah.
5. When James, John and Peter came down from the mountain of transfiguration with Jesus, He commanded them not to tell anyone what they saw, until after He was risen from the dead.
6. In Mark's gospel chapter 7 when He healed the man that was deaf and had a speech impediment, again He commanded that they tell no man.
7. In Mark 8
when Jesus healed the blind man again He told him not to tell anyone.
8. When Jesus raised the daughter of Jarius from the dead, He told them to not tell what was done.
9. At one point His brothers suggested that He go public.
His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
For [there is] no man [that] doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
C. Why did Jesus seek to keep the people from publicly acknowledging that He was the Messiah?
1. Many times He said that His hour had not yet come.
2. God had obviously appointed a particular day in the history of man when the Messiah would be presented to the nation.
a. As we read in the Psalm, "This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."
b. Here in Luke 19
, "Jesus lamented, "If you had only known the things that belong to thy peace at least in this thy day."
3. The hour had now come, the day had arrived, the time when the Messiah would come riding into the city on a donkey.
D. There is one other prophecy that refers to this day, it is found in Daniel 9
1. From the study of the prophecies of Jeremiah, Daniel knew that the time of their deliverance from the Babylonian captivity had come.
a. Jeremiah had declared that they would serve the King of Babylon 70 years. Jeremiah 25:11
For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
2. In Leviticus God warned them of the judgment that would come upon the nation if they did not keep His commandments.
And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye [be] in your enemies' land; [even] then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. They had been in the land for 490 years without giving the land the sabbath rests. That equates to 70 years of rest from from planting that the land had coming.
3. Knowing these prophecies Daniel was seeking the Lord when the angel of the Lord visited him and declared,
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.
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.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
a. God's time clock to send the Messiah would start the day that the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
b. From that day it would be 69 seven year cycles until the Messiah would appear.
c. The Babylonian calendar was based on a 360 day year, so that would mean that 173,880 days after the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem, the Messiah should come.
d. We know from history that the commandment went forth from the Persian king Artaxerxes to Nehemiah on March 14, 445 B.C. to restore the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah is careful to tell us that this commandment was given in the month of Nisan in the 20th year of the king Artaxerxes.
e. Using that date as a starting point and counting 173,880 days, it brings us to the date April 6, 32 A.D. which by divine design is the very day we are looking at here in Luke 19
. "This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."
f. And as Jesus said, "If you had only known at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace."
II. IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT JESUS WAS NOW ENCOURAGING THE DISCIPLES TO MAKE A PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION AS THEY HAILED HIM AS KING.
A. As He was riding down the hill on the donkey toward Jerusalem, His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with loud voices for the mighty works that they had seen.
1. Surely the Pharisee's could put two and two together, He is riding on a donkey as they are rejoicing and shouting for joy.
2. The people were calling Him the King, "Blessed be the King who comes in the name of the Lord."
3. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
4. Matthew tells us that the multitude that was going in front of Him and those that were following were crying "Hosanna to the Son of David." Which was a Messianic title. The Hebrew word hosanna, means save now. They were calling out a portion of Psalm 118
, which was recognized by all as a prophecy of the Messiah.
B. When the Pharisee's commanded Him to rebuke His disciples because they considered their acclamation of Him as the Messiah as being blasphemous, He said, "I tell you that if they would hold their peace, the very stones would immediately cry out."
1. The rocks had more understanding than those block heads.
C. I believe that God has designed a day for each man when he must face his decision to accept or reject Jesus as the Messiah.
1. Jerusalem rejected their Messiah, and we see the Messiah weeping as He looks at the city and laments their lost opportunity to know peace with heaven.
2. He can foresee what this rejection is going to cost them. A tight siege is going to set against the city and the city will be leveled to the ground with the children, and not one stone of that great temple will be left standing upon another, all because they did not know that this was the day of their visitation.
3. I believe that when that day comes when a person rejects for the last time the opportunity God has given them to be at peace with God through Jesus the Messiah, that Jesus weeps, for He can see the costly consequences of that rejection.