The Beautiful (or Golden) Gate into the Temple Mount, taken from the Mount of Olives

Moving Forward: A Palm Sunday Walk

This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’                            – Matthew 21:4 (citing Zechariah 9:9 and Isaiah 62:11)

Walking down from Bethany, traversing the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley and up to Jerusalem is an amazing journey.  It’s not only a beautiful walk, and a walk through scripture, it’s also a walk through Biblical prophecy. As is the entire season, from Palm Sunday to Easter, that we’re about to enter, with all the wild swing in emotions it brings.

The Beautiful (or Golden) Gate into the Temple Mount, taken from the Mount of Olives

Yes, I’m an Old Testament geek.

Scripture doesn’t say exactly where Jesus was when He accused the Pharisees of hypocrisy and tells them their house will become barren, ending with For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’ (Matthew 23:39). But Matthew does tell us that after that, Jesus takes His triumphant ride into Jerusalem through the Beautiful Gate, or the Golden Gate as it’s now called, where the crowd cries out “Hallelujah! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (cf Psalm 118:26). Clearly by this time the people of Jerusalem recognize Jesus as set apart by God, as foretold in Psalm and prophecy. The people knew – but the entrenched leadership of the Jewish religion did not.  Those who thought they knew it all, who believed they had the only answers – were in fact blind.  Jesus told them that too.

Daniel 7:13-14, in prophecy, told of the Son of Man “coming with the clouds of heaven” and taking His place with the “Ancient of Days”. The Father gives the Son all authority over a kingdom “that will never be destroyed.”

Zechariah 12:10 prophesied “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” Isaiah 53: 5 says “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  

Don’t you think this week should cause mass outbreaks of repentance, prayerful kneeling contrition, long evenings in meditation at the cost of the gift we’ve been given…?

So much more was foretold of this time, but, exiled on Patmos decades later, John writes in the first book of Revelation: “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” John repeats ancient prophecy to remind us that Jesus’ mission was foretold long before he came.

That week, the people who followed Jesus thought they had moved forward – that Jesus jhas come as a King to free them from Roman rule.  They didn’t know that what was to come was the biggest “Move Forward” in history. Jesus is the Savior and Lord of the church, and He leads his church still today.

Church of Jesus Christ, stand firm today and always. This week, let us worship even more fervently Him Who is “the Alpha and the Omega,” the one “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty”.

Let’s Move Forward.