Zechariah 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.
The Bible records the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem in Matthew 21. It is not just a story, it is not just a historical account. It is for us today, God’s word is spiritual food for the believer. It ministers to our spirit. The Bible says that Jerusalem is the city of the great king. Jesus is that king. He is the king of the Jews. The kingdom of heaven was at hand. Israel’s king had arrived. He was the king that was prophesied of. Israel was waiting for their king, but when their king came, they did not know him. They did not receive him. Because they were not in the kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, they would not see or enter into the kingdom of heaven. The prophesies of the prophets of the blessed thousand year reign would not be realized yet. This generation had their king, they had the blessing at their fingertips and they did not know it. Only the poor, the feeble, the sick, the maimed, the diseased, the blind, the bound, the prisoners, the weak, the despised, the rejected received him. They saw that they needed a Saviour first and foremost. Sin had to be dealt with first. Jesus is king, but that is not nearly all that he is. Israel was expecting the earthly kingdom, the kingdom where Israel was the head of the nations and not the tail. They wanted the blessings, but they did not want the man who contains the blessings. Israel was expecting something different. They were temporal, carnal, worldly, they had no spiritual eyes and ears. They saw, but did not see, they heard, but did not hear. The King that rode into Jerusalem was not the king that they were expecting, not the type of king they had carved out in their imaginations. Not a king that they could manipulate. Not a king amenable to their corruption, imagination and devices. They saw themselves as righteous, as entitled, as deserving. They were dead in their sins. They were alienated from God, and thus they did not receive God. They did not receive the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith. It was the poor of the world that received Jesus. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Salvation is first and foremost. But except ye become as little children. The Bible says out of the mouth of babes God has perfected praise. The multitude praised Jesus. They were nobodies who heralded the arrival of their king. However, the Pharisees, the scribes, the lawyers, the rich, the famous, the priests were not among the multitude which spread their garments in the way, who laid branches of trees in the way, who cried Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. Instead, the inhabitants of the city said, Who is this? The Bible says that the priests and pharisees were sore displeased. Jesus found the temple which was not worshipping God in spirit and truth, but had instead been turned into a marketplace. It was a den of thieves. Jerusalem was corrupted. The flesh always corrupts. It is what it does. The world is utterly corrupt. Jesus came to Jerusalem and found profession but no reality. Israel had a name, but they were dead inside. The fig tree withered away. And Israel has withered away. By rejecting their king, they rejected the blessings. This is why the curse came on them. Jesus is life. He only has life. He has salvation. If you reject Jesus, you reject life. You reject blessing, because all the blessings are in him.
The children of Israel did not realize that being a Jew was not enough. They had to be saved. They needed Christ’s righteousness. They needed their sin dealt with. They needed to have the saving faith in their Saviour. The Bible says that righteousness is the scepter of Jesus’ kingdom. God looks on the inside. God deals with the inside. God fixes us inside out. He deals with us spiritually first. We need to be born again of the Spirit of God. We need to be made alive spiritually first. This is in contrast to the world. The world only cares about the outside. The world is based around what we can physically see, it is materialistic, sensual, temporal. It is selfish. Israel was full of unsaved people. People who did not want to be saved. Who did not see a need to be saved. People who had no faith. They may have been physically circumcised, but they were not spiritually circumcised. If they had been saved, if they were of the truth, they would have known and received Jesus. God knows his own. And all God’s come to him. The Bible says the sheep hear his voice. But Israel did not hear their shepherd’s voice. This is why Jesus said the children of the kingdom will be cast out and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Being born a Jew was a privilege. They had the prophets, they had the law, they had the scriptures, they had the witness, they had opportunity to be saved, they were without excuse. They should have seen their need for a Saviour, instead they didn’t think they needed one. The law, instead of showing their proud hearts how filthy, vile and sinful they were, was instead used as an instrument of self righteousness.
There were people in Jerusalem that received Jesus. There was the multitude that welcomed him to the city. The multitude that worshipped him. There was a remnant that received their Saviour. Glory to God in the highest. Jesus came in the Father’s name. This is why they did not know him or receive him. This world does not know or receive God. The Bible says that no man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son hath declared him. Jesus is God. God came and visited us. This is what we remember at Christmas time. God with us. Our Immanuel. Jesus said if another comes in his own name him ye will receive. The antichrist is coming. The world will receive him. They wanted Barabbas instead of Jesus. They want the murderer over the life giver. Jesus came unto his own and his own received him not. Israel’s king came to Jerusalem, and they crucified him. The Bible says Jesus endured the shame. Even Pilate said to Jesus, your own people have delivered you. We cannot fathom God’s love for us. Jesus did not threaten when he was reviled. He endured the shame. They rejected their Saviour. They brought a terrible judgement upon themselves. Israel has been the most hated, despised and persecuted nation for thousands of years. They are a reproach. They are a hissing. They are scorned. Everyone hates the Jews. Their lives hang in the balance. But God is not finished with Israel. The promises still belong to Israel. God writes the last chapter.
God is about to give the Jews another chance. He is about to remove their blindness. Jesus is coming again. But first he will purge out the rebels. They will pass under the rod. Jesus said, ye shall not see me till ye shall say blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Israel will finally receive their King. But first they will be saved. This is necessary. The Bible says and so all Israel shall be saved. God has not cast them away. They have endured his indignation. But they are the apple of his eye. God’s promises are for Israel. They are his nation. Jesus said, How often would I have gathered thee! This is applicable to us. The Jews were supposed to be God’s people and yet they rejected him. Professing Christians can be the same today. Do you reject Jesus? Do you profess to be a Christian and yet you do not hear Jesus’ voice? Do you live in disobedience to his word, do you deny his Holy Spirit? Are you a fake? The only people who rejoiced to see Jesus coming were the nobodies. The gospel is for them. The gospel is for those who are not proud. Those who are not self righteous. They that are whole have no need of a physician.
There will be only rest on this earth when Jesus reigns. The church is not bringing the kingdom in. The church is different from Israel. This world is filthy, vile, utterly corrupt. It lies in wickedness. Many of us live in comfort in our bubble. We are so content with our perfect convenient lives that we would be disappointed to see him return. We will be disappointed when our world is shattered. Jesus said, they knew not till the flood came and took them all away. Jesus is physically coming back to earth. He is coming as the King of Israel. They will look on him who they pierced. Jesus will receive the kingdoms of this world when the Father says so. We do not conjure him up. We do not bring him down from heaven. Faith does not do that. The King is about to return to the earth. There will be a great time of trouble first. There will be wrath and judgement. The antichrist will come, he will be received by the world. He is a murderer, as Barabbas was, but this world wants the murderer over Jesus. The armies of the earth will ultimately gather together against Jesus. But they will be annihilated. The Bible says that Jesus will destroy the wicked with the brightness of his coming. The sword of his mouth will smite them. He will slay the wicked. He will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. Jude said, Behold he cometh with ten thousands of his saints. For us, we will come with Jesus to reign. The church is Jesus’s bride. Jesus is king of Israel. And Israel will be saved. They will accept their King when he comes the second time. Behold, thy king cometh!