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The King of Peace Comes Humbly Riding on a Donkey

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The King of Peace Comes Humbly Riding on a Donkey

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The King of Peace Comes Humbly Riding on a Donkey

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Prophecy told that the Messiah who would come to bring peace and reconciliation. BUT… also that He would be rejected by humanity.

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Prophecies of The King of Peace

Today we are going to survey the prophecies made about Jesus as the Messiah who would come to bring peace and reconciliation. BUT… would be rejected by humanity.

The Messiah Would Be Rejected

[ca 740-700 B.C.] Isaiah 52:13 Isaiah 52:13Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
American King James Version×
- 53:3
 Jews who knew the scriptures were eagerly expecting a powerful Messiah figure to restore Israel to its former position of honor, Godly purpose, and dominant status on the world stage.  They understood “the servant of the Lord” to be the Messiah come with great ruling power. For example; Isaiah 42:1-4 Isaiah 42:1-4 [1] Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit on him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. [2] He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. [3] A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment to truth. [4] He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
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Embedded in these prophecies of the Messiah were a subtext of suffering and death which confused the Jews. These prophecies of the suffering and rejected servant only made sense after Jesus first coming. Jesus had prepared the disciples for this. He told them the rejection would come and the contempt  would come Luke 17:25 Luke 17:25But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
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, Matthew 16:21 Matthew 16:21From that time forth began Jesus to show to his disciples, how that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
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, Mark 10:34 Mark 10:34And they shall mock him, and shall whip him, and shall spit on him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
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. Yet like so many other prophecies they only really got it after it came to pass.

The holy spirit would later help them to recall and understand all these events and fulfilments... but their understanding began with clear, literal statements from Jesus which they would be able remember... and record for future generations.

Messiah Would Be a King AND Priest

Psalms 110:1 Psalms 110:1The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.
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6 [ca 1,000 B.C. lifetime of David] the Messiah would be an authoritative king and priest according to the order of Melkizadek. Psalm 110 is quoted several times in the NT indicating it was an important concept within the teaching of the church.

  • Hebrews 5:5-6 Hebrews 5:5-6 [5] So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said to him, You are my Son, to day have I begotten you. [6] As he said also in another place, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
    American King James Version×
    10, 7:21
    - The office of Priest granted to Christ by the Father
  • Hebrews 1:3 Hebrews 1:3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
    American King James Version×
    , 12:8
    - The office of King granted to Christ by the Father. Note: the phrase “at the right hand of” signifies second in authority to the Father.

Note: the book of Hebrews was written a few years before the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. ...almost 30-40 years after the date of Jesus death. Hebrews provides a more detailed exposition of these concepts. However, the basic idea was understood by the Church from the very beginning:

  • Acts 2:34 Acts 2:34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,
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    -36 only 7 weeks after Jesus’ resurrection Psalm 110 is applied to the resurrected Christ in the very first sermon message delivered by the ministry of the Church.

The Church did not just pluck these ideas out of thin air... it was not a matter of some mystic interpretation. Jesus had told them in advance that Psalm 110 was about Him. The holy spirit called these things into remembrance Matthew 22:44 Matthew 22:44The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool?
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Zechariah 6:1 Zechariah 6:1And I turned, and lifted up my eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
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1-13 [ca 520-518 B.C.] under the old covenant the office of king and priest were strictly separated. That old covenant would be terminated after Jesus death. The new covenant combines the roles of king and priest in Christ… according to the order of Melkizadek. Zechariah’s prophecy must therefore be referring to the Messiah… not Joshua son of Zodak.

The Messianic King Would Come to Jerusalem

Zechariah 9:9-10 Zechariah 9:9-10 [9] Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on an ass, and on a colt the foal of an ass. [10] And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace to the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
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 the fulfillment of this is present in all 4 gospel accounts Matthew 21:1-9 Matthew 21:1-9 [1] And when they drew near to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, to the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, [2] Saying to them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them to me. [3] And if any man say ought to you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them; and straightway he will send them. [4] All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, [5] Tell you the daughter of Sion, Behold, your King comes to you, meek, and sitting on an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. [6] And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, [7] And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. [8] And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way. [9] And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
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 [ quotes Psalms 118:26 Psalms 118:26Blessed be he that comes in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
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].

Once again, in word and deed, Jesus was providing pointers back to the prophecies about the Messiah. They only understood them after they had come to pass... but they did not simply go back to the prophets and look for verification... they knew where to look because Jesus had shown them where to go... John 12:16 John 12:16These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things to him.
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The Messianic King Would Come in Peace

Understanding the symbolism of Jesus act of riding a donkey requires a short history lesson: before the time of cars and jeeps, conquering kings used horses and mules to get around. Which of those options they chose was significant. Coming to a city riding a donkey or mule into a city meant the king came in peace. . Coming to a city riding a horse up to the gates of a city meant his intent was war, not peace.

Jesus rode a donkey for his final entry in to Jerusalem, on one hand to fulfill prophecy... on the other hand to signify that He comes in peace.

A biblical example of a peaceful king riding a donkey is 1 Kings 1:3 1 Kings 1:3So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
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2-38. God allowed Solomon to build the temple in Jerusalem because he was a king of peace, whereas David had been a king of war. Here Solomon comes to the city and is declared king while riding on a mule... as a symbol of peaceful intent and a peaceful transfer of power.

Genesis 49:10-11 Genesis 49:10-11 [10] The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be. [11] Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass's colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
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 [ occurred 1,859 B.C. recorded around 1,450 B.C.] this prophecy is wrapped in a riddle... but from it we learn that:

  • the kingship [scepter] would go to the physical descendants of Judah [Jesus was a descendant of Judah in the kingly lineage of David]
  • this kingship extends over all nations [which could not be applied to the Davidic kings of Israel’s history]. This prophecy can only be applied to Christ as king.
  • this king rides a donkey [meaning he comes in peace]
  • this king  washes his garments in the blood of grapes. This indicates he provides a cleansing from sin. None of the historic kings of Israel could do this. It can only apply to Christ.

Wine is a biblical symbol of blood

The connection of wine symbolizing the blood of cleansing is made explicit when Jesus introduces the new covenant symbols of the Passover... “this cup of wine is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for forgiveness of sin”.

  • This blood on the garments can apply to the blood of Jesus who was sacrificed to pay the penalty of your sin. Who rescues you from the consequences of your sin. Who provides  cleansing and purification from the contamination of sin. The king who comes in peace uses His own  blood in this manner. This personal cleansing is depicted in Revelation 7:1 Revelation 7:1And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
    American King James Version×
    3-14.
  • The blood on the garments can also apply to the king who comes in war. When the Messiah comes the second time He will be riding a horse, not a donkey. He comes to judge the kings, governments, philosophies, religious traditions, and societies of the earth  Revelation 14:17-20 Revelation 14:17-20 [17] And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. [18] And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. [19] And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. [20] And the wine press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine press, even to the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
    American King James Version×
    ; 19:11-15
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    • This is prophesied by Isaiah 63:1-6 Isaiah 63:1-6 [1] Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. [2] Why are you red in your apparel, and your garments like him that treads in the winefat? [3] I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in my anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled on my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. [4] For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. [5] And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore my own arm brought salvation to me; and my fury, it upheld me. [6] And I will tread down the people in my anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
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      . The messiah rejected by humanity returns in power and shows  God’s wrath upon unrepentant sin.

Jesus Christ Offers You Peace

Jesus... the word... the logos... the second member of the God family... came to humanity in the flesh... with an offer of peace. A few accepted it, most did not.

The ongoing proclamation of God's truth by His Church is a call to restored relationship with God... a relationship of reconciliation and of peace. That peace is made possible through Jesus Christ. Each of us must accept Christ: as Lord & master, teacher, law-giver, king, priest... AND our atoning sacrifice for sin.

Once more this year at the Passover and we take a small cup of wine. It is a memorial... a reminder of our peace treaty with God. Through Christ and His blood we are brought into a new relationship with God a relationship of peace.

You must greet and accept the great king who comes to you in peace. Your acceptance of His offer of peace is signed, sealed and delivered through your baptism.

  • Romans 3:2 Romans 3:2Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God.
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    4-25 you must be willing to accept  this offer of peace with God. You must believe God’s words and act accordingly
  • Romans 5:9 Romans 5:9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
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     by accepting the great king and his offer of peace you do not have to experience the wrath of the king when He returns.
  • Colossians 1:20 Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
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     accepting Christ is acceptance of God’s terms of peace 
  • Ephesians 2:13 Ephesians 2:13But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.
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     you are brought near to God through this offer of peace

Most Have Rejected The King of Peace

Jesus was the prophesied king of peace, redemption, salvation, and righteousness. He came riding on a donkey to the city that was His. He came to His own people. Even before He got up on that donkey and rode into the city He knew both Jew and gentile would reject Him Matthew 20:18-19 Matthew 20:18-19 [18] Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, [19] And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to whip, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
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After entering the city He went to the temple and taught. Those in power heard Him and decided He must be stopped Matthew 21:45 Matthew 21:45And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them.
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They did not have to reject Him, God did not force them to reject Him to fulfill prophecy... but, He knew what would happen because He knew the hearts of human beings  Matthew 23:37-39 Matthew 23:37-39 [37] O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! [38] Behold, your house is left to you desolate. [39] For I say to you, You shall not see me from now on, till you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.
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Later that week, Jesus was arrested and put on trial. The Jews found Him guilty but they needed the Romans to agree to put Him to death. Pilate,the Roman judge, looked into the matter. He found no crime worthy of death. He offered to let release Jesus to please the crowd...  but through coercion and deception the crowd was turned against Jesus Matthew 27:20-2 Matthew 27:20-2
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2.

Pilate had heard about the Messianic controversy. So, he asked the people of Jerusalem a question John 18:15 John 18:15And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
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. The king of peace was rejected.

Conclusion

Today we have looked at only a sliver of the prophesies God gave to validate His written word. The rejection of the Messiah/ king who came in peace, was prophesied almost 2,000 years in advance. More detail was added through the centuries.

God knew in advance humanity would reject Him... and they did. Without intervention from God the human heart will not be ruled by God or conform to His ways.

However, through the blood of Jesus Christ you can enter into a new and better relationship with the creator of the universe. A relationship of peace and reconciliation. We will memorialize this bond of peace once again at this year’s Passover.

For those who have not yet made this commitment and welcomed the king of peace... act now.