God Has Spoken
Before the written word existed, God communicated with man by creation. As people saw the majesty of all God made and lived their lives in the delight of each day, they understood that there was One True and Living God and He loved them. Before the written word, there was the oral traditions that told the story of creation and how God delivered His people from Egypt into their own land.
People memorized the story of creation and deliverance and the promise that God made in Genesis 3 to send the world a Savior. They told the story over and over so many times and tested those who memorized it until their recollection was perfect and without error.
In due time, when God had determined, He sent His only Son into to world to become one of us and live as a normal man. He did this so that as the second Adam, Jesus could remove the curse that Adam caused and give every person the opportunity to be reunited with God.
In order to make this possible, Jesus must come into the world without the stain of Adam’s sin. It was by a virgin birth that Jesus made His spectacular entrance into our lives.
Next, the Son of God must live a life that is perfect and without one sin, for no man who was himself a sinner could save other sinners. Jesus lived a perfect life and the testimony by those who knew Him well stated that they never saw or heard on sin from Jesus.
Finally, a place of judgment was prepared for the body that God’s Son inhabited. He would bring it to the leaders of Israel and allow them to inspect Him four days before the Passover began. Just as the Lamb of Exodus 12 was inspected for defects and brought to the sacrifice on the day of Passover, Jesus was found perfect and given the name “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Precisely on Passover, Jesus allowed evil men to arrest and accuse Him of crimes He never committed. This was irrelevant because Jesus would be dying for the sins of the world and for these, we were all guilty.
They beat His face and tore His flesh. They spit on Him, thrust a crown of Judean thorns onto his head and mocked Him repeatedly. They forced the Lord of heaven to carry the wood from a tree that He had created, one He knew well before He made the universe.
They tied Jesus to a post and beat him with a cat of nine-tails until his skin was torn to ribbons and His ribs and organs were exposed. Again they punched His face, tore the robe from His back and placed a scepter in His hand as they mocked Him again and again.
Never did Jesus seek to defend Himself. Not once did He object or demand a fair accounting of His true innocence.
From the cross Jesus cried out to the Father to forgive the men who had, moments, before, nailed Him to the wood and caused unimaginable pain and suffering. Jesus didn’t want these men to suffer themselves for what they were doing to Him so He remained on the cross and took the full force of God’s wrath for their sin, and all of our sins.
He stayed on the cross for six hours and the world watched Him as the true love of God and the eternal message of love was being sent from that hill at Jerusalem to every city, village, province, and seaside of the world. Down through history to every generation, every person, all races, colors, creeds, and social standing. Jesus was dying for the world and He looked ahead with great Joy for what His suffering would accomplish.
Yes, God has communicated with us. He has plainly spoken to the hearts of every person and declared His Love. He has preserved His word through twenty centuries so that anyone can read and understand the message that God has sent to the world:
“I love you and I have given my Only Son for you. If you will trust Him I will take away all your sins and guilt and give you and beautiful and new eternal life.”
Born In Bethlehem
How could a man control the place of His birth and the manner of his death? Before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, His arrival at this small town was predicted about 700 years before. This place of the Messiah’s birth is one of the preeminent prophecies of the Messiah that clearly identifies Jesus as the only person who could rightly be given this title.
As we examine this prophecy of Micah, we see that the subject is: “The One to be Ruler in Israel (Messiah), who comes out of eternity. The prophecy describes the Messiah’s origin as: “From Everlasting,” this term in Hebrew means: “from vanishing point to vanishing point. It is often used to describe a duration of eternity.
The Messiah shall be born in Bethlehem.
Micah 5:2a “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
New Testament Fulfillment:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” ~Matthew 2:1-2
Control Over All Events
Consider the difficulty of this prophecy. In order to place Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem so that Jesus could fulfill Micah’s prophecy, God ordained a worldwide census by the Roman government. Joseph is required to go back to the place of his ancestors’ birth to register for this census. While in Bethlehem, Jesus would be born, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 5:2:
“…Yet out of you Bethlehem shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel…”
Luke records this event in chapter 2 of his gospel:
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. ~Luke 2:1-5
So that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, all the citizens of the Roman empire were required to obey God’s will. The Lord moved Caesar Augustus to order the census, showing His great power over all kings and governments. Throughout the Bible, we see many examples where the Lord is described as able to move people where He wants them to go and place into their hearts a desire to do His will.
…Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings… ~Daniel 2:20-21
…the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. ~Daniel 4:32
…For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” ~Daniel 4:34-35
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28
For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose… ~Revelation 17:17
Our God is able to move the entire world to accomplish His word.
Knowing this, is it really that difficult for the Lord to care for us everyday of our lives and provide the things that we need? Since our God can control the movement of people all over the world and bring a poor family with very little resources to the exact place that they need to be in order to fulfill His prophetic word, is He not also able to care for us?
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us… ~Ephesians 3:20
Imagine The Difficulty required To Accomplish This Requirement:
Millions of people will have to disrupt their lives and leave their current home to travel to the place where their ancestors were born. What great trouble and expense millions of people would have to endure simply because the God of Israel is going to fulfill His word!
It seems that one of the purposes for this event is to display before us, how great the Lord’s power is.
Joseph is descended from King David. Although Jesus is the stepson of Joseph, He will receive His legal right to be the King of the Jews as a descendant of David, from His stepfather Joseph. When Joseph learns that he must register for the census, he understands that this will require Mary, who is nearly nine months pregnant, to travel the 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem over rough terrain, on the back of a donkey, just to complete this registration.
Why would God require Joseph and Mary to experience such a difficult and dangerous task? Since they will be the parents of the Messiah, should not God make the circumstances of Mary and Joseph’s life be a little easier?
You see, this is where we often misunderstand the will and purposes of God for our lives. He is more interested in developing our character than He is in providing us with more comfort. It is by the suffering that Jesus had to endure, that He learned to be obedient to the Father.
…though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him… ~Hebrews 5:8-9
Though Jesus is the Son of God, He had to learn to be obedient. It was by Jesus’ suffering that He was conformed into the will of God to complete our salvation. How much more shall we—also need to learn obedience to the will of the Lord—by the things that we must also suffer in our life?
…We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. ~Acts 14:22
God allowed the journey of Joseph, Mary, and the unborn Messiah to be extremely difficult—so that by their suffering, they would all be prepared to accomplish what the Lord would later require. The world needed a Savior who could understand poverty, difficulties, hardship, and suffering. Jesus was being prepared to be a Savior who understands us, even before He was born.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. ~Hebrews 4:15
God Speaks To Us By His Son
In the last days, God has sent the world a visible representation of Himself so that every person might know that God exists and that He has provided a way for our sins to be forgiven and eternal life, ours.
The Messiah will come to earth as “a child.”
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. ~Isaiah 9:6-7
New Testament Fulfillment:
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” ~Luke 1:30-32
Jesus Did Not Begin His Life At Bethlehem; He Existed Before Time:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ~John 1:1
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. ~John 1:14
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds… ~Hebrews 1:1-2
For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” ~Hebrews 1:5-8
The Great Enigma
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory. ~1 Timothy 3:16
One of the mysteries of salvation is that God would humble Himself and come to earth as a tiny baby. Why did God not send the Messiah to us as a fully formed and mature human being? We see manifestations of Jesus in the Old Testament as the Angel of the Lord, in the form of a man. Why send the Son of God to earth and necessitate that He must be born as a helpless baby?
Place yourself now—in Nazareth. You are standing beside the road, across the way from where Mary and Joseph live. A toddler is wobbling back and forth in the first days of learning to walk. He stumbles and falls to the ground. His mother runs to his aid and picks him up, dusting off the dirt from where he has fallen. Suddenly you realize, this is the Son of God, the One who made all things that exists. He has not always been a human being. He has not always been a tiny boy. He was and is the King of the Universe, the Creator and Sustainer of all things.
Jesus walked the halls of heaven, but now He must learn to walk as a child. He has spoken the universe into existence, but now He must learn to talk for the first time as a human being.
It was the plan of God to require the Savior of the world to become one of us—fully, in all things. He would have to experience everything that all men will encounter during their lives. From normal birth, infancy, through the teen years and adulthood, our Savior would feel every emotion that we feel. Jesus endured pain, sorrow, betrayal, abandonment, fear, and stress. He understands what it is like to live as a human being in this world. This is why He is able, not only able to die in our place, but also to perfectly sympathize with all of the struggles and difficulties that we experience living in a fallen world.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:14-16
The Savior is also called Immanuel—God with us—for good reason. Not only that God is for us, He cares for us, but also that He would come to live amongst us, so that we could understand that He knows what it is like to be one of us.
Because our Messiah came as a child, we can have great confidence that He truly understands what it is like for us to grow from an infant—into an adult. He was not lacking information regarding how we feel as a human being—for God knows all things. More importantly, because He was willing to take the body of a human being and live with us, He knows what it is like to be one of us.
O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. ~Psalms 139:1-4
In verse 2, the original Hebrew language that David wrote this text from reveals that God “understands my thoughts afar off.” David did not mean that God is far off from us in heaven and yet He understands our thoughts. It is the intent of the Hebrew language in this verse that David is stating God’s comprehension of our thoughts before they form. He observes the synapses firing in our brain, connecting ideas, and feelings together. The Lord knows our thoughts far off, before we are going to think, what we are going to think. This is how intimately God knows us.
The purpose of the Messiah coming to us as a child was not so that God could comprehend what it is like to be human. Jesus came to us as a child and learned to walk, talk, and be human, so that we could have confidence in His ability to relate to us as another human being.
The Savior’s knowledge of your life is not simply understood by the fact that He knows all about you because He made you. He also knows what it is like to be you, living in this world full of so many heartaches, disappointments, and failures. He understands betrayal, abandonment, loneliness, suffering, and despair. He has experienced all of the emotions you have felt, and He can relate to you as no other person can. We can thank and praise the Father who in His wisdom, sent us His Son and allowed Him to begin life as a child.
Paul wrote in Hebrews 4:14-16 that for this reason, we can have confidence that He understands us. Therefore, we can come to Him at any time without fear or apprehension. We can come boldly to His throne of Grace; and there, we will always find mercy and grace to help in (our) time of need.
God sent us a Savior to begin life as a child and to grow into adulthood and finally lay down His life in such great sacrifice, that all our sins could be eternally detached from us.
When we examine carefully the circumstances of Jesus birth, in regards to the fulfillment of this prophecy of Micah 5:2, we see truly amazing circumstances.
Luke reminds us that there were a certain number of days that had to be completed before the Messiah could come to us. Micah prophesied in describing the Savior’s birth, nearly 750 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. ~Luke 2:6-11
When we examine these hundreds of prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah, we see that God was following a predetermined plan that He had formulated before time existed. The Book of Galatians reminds us that the time when Jesus came to earth was a moment specifically planned by God in which He would reveal His Son to the world.
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son… ~Galatians 4:4
Our God works in the realm of eternity, to effect the lives of people who dwell within time—so that we might all someday—dwell with Him in eternity, forever.
As Jesus is born in Bethlehem, in fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy, He does not come into the world as we would expect the King of the universe to make His entrance.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. ~Luke 2:7
Imagine the Creator of all things, as He is born to one of the poorest families on the earth. He brings no army with Him. He comes not in regal splendor and spectacle. His arrival is unpretentious and with great humility. It is interesting that Jesus is wrapped in the very same strips of cloth at His birth that He will also be wrapped with at His death. These are the garments of the poor, used to secure an infant, in the traditional binding that is said to bring comfort to a newborn.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord… ~Luke 2:8
The announcement made by angels—given to the world, declared that God who made the heavens and the earth, came not to kings or world leaders. He arrived before a few shepherds tending their flocks on a lonely insignificant hillside. It was a common belief at this time that shepherds were among the most insignificant and despised people who occupied the earth. These humble men spent countless days and nights unnoticed, as they lovingly cared for one of the dumbest and most helpless animals on the earth. It is no surprise that the Bible often speaks of the shepherd as a loving example of the care and dedication that the Messiah will have over His people—the sheep.
The birth of Jesus is announced by an angel of the Lord. His first words to the stunned shepherds are: “Do not be afraid, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people…” As the multitude of all Old Testament prophecies describe, the Messiah came for every person. God chose one specific day—a moment in time set aside by the Lord to announce that our bondage to sin and death are at an end. “For there is born to every person a Savior, who is Jesus the Christ the Lord.”
A mystery of the Bible is the fact that the Messiah will come to the earth on two separate occasions. This absence of this fact in the knowledge of many Jews today, is a primary reason that they cannot see Jesus as the One True Messiah.
As we examine this next section of Psalms 102, we see that it was the intention of the Hebrew scriptures to convey the idea of a Messiah who appears on the earth, twice.
FIRST: You will arise and have mercy on Zion; For the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come. For Your servants take pleasure in her stones, And show favor to her dust. So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD, And all the kings of the earth Your glory. SECOND: For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. ~Psalms 102:13-16
New Testament Fulfillment:
For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. ~Hebrews 9:24-28
God Communicates Mercy First, Then Judgement Later
This prophecy from Psalms 102:13-16, above, has two parts. One to be fulfilled earlier, the other—much later, at the end of the age.
- First: You will arise and have mercy on Zion
- Second: He shall appear in His glory
Earlier Fulfillment: The Messiah will appear at Zion (Jerusalem) to bring the mercy of God. The Messiah will come to offer His life for the sins of the world.
Later Fulfillment: The Messiah will return in the last days, to appear in Glory, to rule and reign over the whole earth—forever.
This prophecy from Psalms 102:13-16, is an advanced look into the detailed and precise events which will occur as a part of both appearances of Jesus, on the earth, as the world’s Savior and King.
In many of the Old Testament prophecies of the Bible, there is an earlier as well as a later fulfillment of the prediction made. This is a characteristic of Messianic Prophecy that is frequently observed in the Bible and a fundamental principle in our understanding of how God communication with us.
An example of this is found in Isaiah Chapter 61:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God… ~Isaiah 61:1-62
Compare Isaiah’s words to those spoken by Jesus when He came to the synagogue at Nazareth and quoted from this verse found in Isaiah 61:
So Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. ~Luke 4:16-20
Notice that Jesus omitted the text: And the day of vengeance of our God…
At Jesus’ first arrival on earth, He was coming as the suffering servant of God—the Lamb who would lay down His life for the sins of the world. At Jesus’ second appearing on earth, at the end of the seven-year tribulation, He is coming as King of kings and Lord of lords.
When Jesus finished reading the words of Isaiah Chapter 61, He rolled up the scroll and handed it back to the attendant. As He sat down, the eyes of all those in the synagogue were transfixed on Jesus. Then He said these words:
Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. ~Luke 4:21
Those who had heard Jesus speak in the synagogue were utterly astonished. The words of these prophecies from Isaiah Chapter 61, could only be fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah. By stating that this prophecy had been fulfilled as Jesus spoke, He was claiming to be the Messiah. Jesus said that He would fulfill the first part of Isaiah 61, the acceptable year of the Lord, during his first arrival and then the day of vengeance of our God, at His return.
Jesus revealed something to us that was hidden in verse 12 of Isaiah 61: There were two parts to the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Isaiah 61:2 (Part 1) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, (Part 2) And the day of vengeance of our God…
Part one: to fulfill the Acceptable year of the Lord, the time when God would pardon the sins of anyone who came to Jesus and believed upon Him as their Savior.
Part two: would be fulfilled at the end of the seven-year Tribulation (the time of vengeance) when Jesus would return to earth with His church (Revelation 19) and rule over the whole earth for one thousand years as absolute King and Lord.
We should remember that Jesus is speaking from the synagogue at Nazareth, the place where He had grown up. Many of those in attendance had known Jesus since He was a little boy. Imagine your response if, suddenly, someone whom you had known for several years stood up to read a verse of scripture from one of the Old Testament prophets and declared that he was the one whom the prophet was writing about. This must have come as a complete shock to the men who were listening to Him on that morning.
So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” ~Luke 4:22
The people who had known Jesus as He was growing up in Nazareth as Joseph’s son, found that it was impossible for them to accept that He was the promised Messiah. This gives us an idea that the early life of Jesus was likely as normal as any other young boy. It is certain that He had many wonderful attributes; nevertheless, they had not considered that Jesus was anything more than a normal human being. This makes the story of Jesus’ life truly extraordinary for us today.
Arriving On One Specific 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.
The Prophecy Of One Day Chosen For God’s Son To Arrive
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.
This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalms 118:24
New Testament Fulfillment:
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.” ~Matthew 21:1-11
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.
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. ~Daniel 9:25
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.
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.?
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. ~Luke 19:29-42
This is “the day” that David spoke of in the first part of Psalm 118:24.
This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalms 118:24
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.
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!” ~Matthew 21:8-9
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.
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 7:3-6
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.” ~John 2:2-4
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.
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.” ~Luke 19:39-42
…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.
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! ~Psalms 118:24-26
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:
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 9:9
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 One God promised.
God’s communication with the world is the most important message that man has ever received. Despite the massive evidence of these events, many people still insist that there is no evidence for God. It is clear that the problem does not reside with the one who sent His message but in those who refuse to receive what He said. God has spoken clearly to man; through His creation, through His word, and through Hs Son, the Living Word, Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God.
God: His Adversaries