Arriving On One Day

Imagine a specific day in which the Creator of all that exists would announce to the world; who He is. Many people believe that there is no evidence for God. They say that there is no empirical evidence that can be observed or tested, scientifically, to confirm that God is real. This is a stunning declaration—considering what is actually observable and available to every person. God has not left us without clear and compelling evidence of His existence. He has placed a visual record of who He is by the things that He has created for us. Our very existence on a tiny planet, in a remote section of a singular galaxy, is compelling evidence that we are here on purpose.

When God determined that He would reveal Himself, He did not choose a manner that most people would imagine. He came to us in humility, poverty; as a servant—to die for us. Amongst all the supposed “god’s” of the world, there has never been one who would die for those who were beneath him.

The God of the Bible is unique in that His coming to us, was for us. Not to announce His regal splendor or the majesty of His existence. He came quietly, simply—in love and compassion for every one of us.

Jesus came into the world for one reason: to die for us. To make it possible for our sins to be removed forever, and to remove the imperfection which had make this world dark and full of evil. Jesus came to take the penalty that we deserved for our violation of the natural laws of the universe concerning our moral behavior. We were made for perfection. We were made for beauty and eternity. It was sin and our own choices to reject God’s love for us that has caused the world to suffer in anguish and despair.

The arrival of Jesus at Bethlehem meant that our bondage to sin and death were at an end. No longer could death paralyze us with fear of the unknown. Gone is the dread of growing old and departing our loved one’s. Forever banished, is the hopelessness of a world that is lost in darkness and evil. The new day of our eternal perfection took place on the one specify day that God sent His Son into the world.

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David’s 118th Psalm is a prophetic promise of a day that was chosen out of eternity when the Son of God would come to Jerusalem and announce to the world that the time of God’s favor was upon every person.

Psalms 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 21:1-11 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

This is the Day

What is “the day” that this prophecy from Psalms 118:24 is speaking of?

David describes a specific day in which there will be two events taking place.

One: The Messiah will make His entrance in Israel.
Two: He will be rejected.

It would be impossible to understand what David was describing in Psalm 118, apart from the prophecies of Daniel, chapter 9. The specific details of this Psalm are written for the coming Messiah who will make His arrival at Jerusalem. Daniel was given the precise date that this event would take place, as well as the specific circumstance which would take place: the rejection and death of the Messiah—through no fault of His own.

Daniel Chapter 9 is perhaps the greatest and most important prophecy in the entire Bible. In these few verses, foundational truths are established—which are the basis for understanding many other prophecies of the Bible, including, the Book of Revelation.

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.

See: Arrival of the Messiah for a detailed examination of what God revealed to Daniel.

Daniel 9:25 describes the specific day when the Messiah will come to Jerusalem. First, a command will be given; then, seven weeks and sixty two weeks…until the Messiah the Prince will come.

The Angel Gabriel informs Daniel that a total of 70 weeks of years; a total of 490 years, are determined for his people, the Jews.

• In the first seven weeks (49 years), the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem.
• In the second sixty-two weeks (434 years), the Messiah will arrive.
• In the last week, the antichirst will be revealed.

The mechanism which triggers the countdown for this prophecy is: the command to restore and build Jerusalem. A detailed description of this time is explored in the chapter: “70 Weeks.” This day will be preceded by a “command” to the captives of Babylon—to return to Israel; rebuild the city and the temple and dwell there once again.

Encyclopedia Britannica records that Artaxerxes Longimanus issued a this command to release the captive Jews in Babylon, on March 14, 445 B.C. So named “Longimanus” by the Greeks because his right hand was longer than his left.[1]

The Babylonian calendar was based upon a 360-day per year cycle. 360 days per year times 483 years equals 173,880 days—taking into account the calendar year change over, from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D., because there is no “0” year; then adding 116 days for leap years.

483 X 360 days = 173,880

173,880 days added to March 14, 445 B.C., we come to the date of April 6th, the year 32 A.D.

Was there any event of particular importance on April 6, 32 A.D.?

Luke 19:29-42 And it came to pass, when Jesus came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose him and bring him here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.

This is “the day” that David spoke of in the first part of Psalm 118:24.

Psalms 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

On April 6, 32 A.D., Jesus told His disciples to go over to Bethphage and find for Him the foal of a donkey. They were to bring this young animal back to Jesus. A foal is an unbroken young horse or donkey that has never had a man upon his back. Under normal circumstance, this young foal would throw off, the first person who attempted to sit upon him. Incredibly, Jesus rides this unbroken and submissive foal, into Jerusalem, on April 6 and allows the assembled crowd to hail Him as The Son of David, a clear title for the Messiah.

Matthew 21:8-9 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”

Up to this point, Jesus had refused all requests that He should announce to the world that He was the promised Messiah. This was despite several attempts by His disciples—even Mary, His own mother, at the wedding of Cana.

John 7:3-6 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him. Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.”

John 2:2-4 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

Jesus was waiting for one specific day, when the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 9:25, should be fulfilled. This is “the day” that David wrote of, in Psalms 118:24.

When Jesus came into Jerusalem, the crowd was shouting Hosanna to the Son of David. The Pharisees understood what they were saying. The people believed Jesus was the promised Messiah, and He was receiving their praise in acceptance of His arrival. Jesus was coming in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in Chapter 9:25 and David’s prophecy in Psalms 118:24.

The Pharisees were livid at Jesus reception by the people of Jerusalem, who were shouting the praises of David’s Psalm of the Messiah.

Luke 19:39-42 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”

…if you had known this your day…

How much Jesus wanted the people of Israel to see and understand that He was coming to them—in fulfillment of all the promises of God. They could not discern and they refused to believe, so their house was left to them a desolation.

This is the subject of this prophecy. Psalms 118:24 describes one unique day in the history of the universe, when the Son of God would come to Jerusalem and be hailed as the Messiah, only to be quickly rejected.

Psalms 118:24-26 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

We often quote this verse in Psalm 118 whenever there is a particularly beautiful day. The day that Psalm 118 was written for is a day chosen out of eternity—the day that the Messiah would come and offer the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, to anyone who would believe. Psalm 118 contains the language, Save now and Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD, because this is what David predicted they would say. The people who had gathered to greet Jesus as the Messiah were well aware of Psalm 118; and this is why they were reciting David’s prophecy, as Jesus made His entrance into the city.

On April 6th, 32 A.D., Jesus rides into Jerusalem and is proclaimed the “Son of David,” the Messiah. This fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy from Chapter 9, verse 25.

The prophet Zechariah also spoke of this very special day when he wrote:

Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem, humbly, on a the foal of a donkey—nearly 600 years before Jesus was born. Daniel’s prophecy of the precise day the Messiah would come to Jerusalem was written almost 700 years before Jesus was born.

When a king made his entrance into a city and his purpose was to conquer that city, he always rode on a great stallion. When a king was coming to a city in peace, he would ride on the back of a donkey. Jesus was arriving in Jerusalem in fulfillment of Daniel’s, Zechariah’s, and David’s prophecies—to proclaim the time when all people can make peace with God by experiencing the forgiveness of their sins.

The Bible told us the exact day that the Messiah would arrive and announce that He is the promised Messiah. In the next chapter, the story continues as Jesus is revealed to the world—at Jerusalem.


[1] Plutarch, Artaxerxes, l. 1. c. 1. 11:129 – cited by Ussher, Annals, para. 1179