top of page

The Messiah Enters Jerusalem

As Jesus prepared to enter Jerusalem, the city was likely abuzz with Messianic enthusiasm and excitement because the fulfillment of Daniel’s timeline prophecy for the date of Messiah's appearance was to be that very day.

37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" 39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" 40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out" (Luke 19:37-40).

The prophet Daniel had a visit from an angel that revealed to him the exact date that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem:

Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven “sevens,” and sixty-two “sevens.” It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble (Daniel 9:25).

Seven and sixty-two make sixty-nine weeks of years. Several people took this prophecy and calculated that from the decree of Artaxerxes, the Persian king, to Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:1-8) in 444 B.C., to the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey's foal, the sixty-nine weeks of years was completed. The sixty-nine weeks of years amount to 483 years with 360 days to a year. (Jews reckoned time according to a lunar calendar, i.e., thirty days to a month and twelve months to a year.) In his excellent work, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell has detailed Christ's entrance into Jerusalem.[1] We don’t know how many people were aware that Daniel’s timeline for the appearance of the Messiah was at hand. There was an expectation among the Jews that the time had arrived when the Messiah would destroy the Romans and deliver the Jewish people from the occupation of the Romans. Of course, as Christians, we believe that He will come as a conquering warrior, but that is for a time to come. First, He had to come as a suffering servant and a sacrificial lamb to pay for our sins.

The arrival of Jesus on this fulfillment day of Daniel's prophecy was planned to the last detail. Jesus would not come into the city riding a white horse, a symbol of war, but on a humble donkey. Think of the humility of our Savior; the Bible states that everything was made through Christ: "Through him, all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made" (John 1:3), yet he had to borrow someone else's donkey. The password to borrow the donkey from the owner was, “The Lord needs it." Notice that the owners required no further explanation once they knew the Lord needed it. That settled it. They were happy to see their resources used by the Lord. What a lesson that is for us. Is everything we have available for the Lord to use? The donkey had never been ridden before (Luke 19:30), yet it carries our Lord without protest.

Three years into His ministry, the Lord now had a price on His head, an amount Judas cashed in on, but we don't find Jesus stealing into the city secretly. How bravely He approached Jerusalem on the very day the prophet Daniel had written. Rapturous applause from crowds of people greeted Jesus as He began the descent from the Mount of Olives with the beautiful city of Jerusalem before and below Him. What glorious defiance of the religious rulers who had tried to intimidate Him again and again. He came to Jerusalem as the promised King spoken of by Zechariah the prophet, fulfilling precisely the prophetic Scripture that He would come having salvation and be riding on a donkey:

9Rejoice 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, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). Keith Thomas

Taken from the series on the Book of Luke. Click on study 52. Luke 19:28-48, The King Comes to His Temple.

[1] Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Published by Nelson, Page 200


Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page