||Against All Odds
What do you suppose the odds would be of someone showing up exactly 483 years after it was predicted he would come? Then add to that the prediction that he would come riding a donkey. Then add to that the prediction that he would not be accepted but rather rejected and subsequently killed. Sound far-fetched? It isn’t. It happened and it’s astounding. Today we continue our series Against All Odds as we consider the stand-alone event Jesus referred to as "the visitation."
Connect Recap Notes: March 12, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitizg
Teaching: "The Visitation"
Text: Luke 19:28-44
What do you suppose the odds would be of someone showing up exactly 483 years after it was predicted he would come? Then add to that the prediction that he would come riding a donkey. Then add to that the prediction that he would not be accepted but rather rejected and subsequently killed. Sound far-fetched? It is, but it happened and it's astounding. In this study, Pastor Skip considered the stand-alone event Jesus referred to as "the visitation."
- I. Presentation (vv. 28-36)
- Celebration (vv. 37-38)
- Consternation (vv. 39-40)
- Lamentation (vv. 41-44)
- Prophecies concerning the Messiah's coming to Jerusalem are found in the Old Testament, including Daniel 9, Zechariah 9, and Malachi 3.
- In fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, Jesus presented Himself to the people of Jerusalem—riding on a donkey—during the Passover season on the tenth of Nisan (April 6, AD 32).
- For the first time, Jesus deliberately drew attention to Himself as the Messiah and King, making it clear that He was fulfilling those prophecies.
- Probe: Presentation means the proffering or giving of something to someone. How does Jesus' presentation reflect this definition, a voluntary extension of an offer—Himself?
- The crowds celebrated Jesus with palm branches, a symbol of deliverance. One hundred fifty years earlier, the Maccabees delivered Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt, and people celebrated their deliverance with palm branches and worship music.
- Here at Jesus' triumphal entry, they sang praises taken from Psalm 118:26 and Psalm 148, both of which were regarded as Messianic psalms. They thought Jesus had come to immediately deliver them from Rome.
- Probe: The word celebration means marking one's pleasure at an important event or occasion. Take a moment to discuss the types of celebrations we have in the church, where we engage in enjoyable activity surrounding Jesus Christ. Why is celebration crucial to the life of the church?
- However, not everyone celebrated. The Pharisees demanded that Jesus silence His disciples, recognizing the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 and Jesus' claim to be Messiah.
- But one reason for this presentation was to elicit a response from the Jewish leaders, forcing them to act—and bringing about Jesus' arrest and crucifixion.
- To fulfill the prophecy, Jesus had to be slain on Passover as the Lamb of God.
- Though the crowd proclaimed Jesus' entry with song and shouts, many would be calling for His crucifixion a few days later.
- This is a reminder that God does not seek frantic worshipers but authentic ones.
- Probe: Consternation is a feeling of anxiety or dismay, usually at something unexpected. The Messiah's visitation was prophesied, so why were the religious leaders concerned over Jesus? How did Jesus both meet and not meet their expectations?
Connect Up: Pastor Skip asked, "With a God who is this accurate, can't we trust Him for all things?" Discuss a time when God was on time in your life, even if the timing was not according to your plan. What does this tell you about God's timetable versus our timetable?
- While the crowd celebrated, Jesus wept over Jerusalem with a loud wail or cry.
- Jesus was saddened by the spiritual blindness of the people and was looking ahead to their future judgment—the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Romans.
- Jesus wept because His own people did not know the time of their visitation.
- They should have known because Daniel predicted the exact time the Messiah would enter Jerusalem, 483 years from their return from exile in Babylon (see Daniel 9:24-25).
- The Jews marked time in sevens (heptads), not tens (decades). Using the time frame of sevens with the Babylonian calendar, Sir Robert Anderson of Scotland Yard computed the time frame (later verified by the British Royal Observatory): 483 years equals 173,880 days. This would land on April 6, AD 32, the tenth of Nisan. This day was the time of Jesus' visitation.
- Probe: A lamentation is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow, usually associated with weeping, moaning, and deep mourning. Discuss how Jesus must have felt with His forthcoming betrayal and crucifixion. What does this tell you about Jesus' humanity (i.e., He had feelings, deep emotions, etc.)?
Connect In: Prophecy is important for the church. It shows that God is in control over all history in that what He predicts will come to pass. And prophecy is particularly profitable to those who look to its fulfillment (see 1 Peter 1:12). Discuss how a series like Against All Odds helps strengthen our faith, reminding us of God's control and sovereignty.
Connect Out: Pastor Skip asked, "How will you respond on a day of opportunity, when God visits you?" How can you use fulfilled prophecy to share the gospel with unbelievers? The simple reasoning is that prophecy authenticates God's Word, and if prophecy can be trusted, the rest of Scripture can be trusted; therefore, God can be trusted.
- Our brains are capable of storing massive amounts of information
- Some information is important; some is useless
- When we compare our brains to God's intellect, there is no comparison
- Not only does He know everything, but sometimes He states what He knows in advance
- We know these things are from God when they come to pass
- There were specifics given about Jesus in the Old Testament
- Group of predictions that talk about the Messiah's coming to Jerusalem (see Daniel 9:24-25; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:1)
- The prophets must have wondered who it would be they were writing about (see 1 Peter 1:10)
- Presentation (vv. 28-36)
- This was a unique way for Jesus to enter the city
- He had been there several times but had always walked with His disciples
- On this occasion, He called for a donkey to be brought for Him to ride
- They disciples knew that if Jesus wanted something, it was for a reason
- Jesus fed 5,000 with fives loaves of bread and two fish (see Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:37-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:5-13)
- Jesus told Peter and the disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, and they caught many fish (see Luke 5:4-9; John 21:2-6)
- We're not sure which disciples went to get the animal, but it could have been Peter and John
- Peter would have wanted to do the talking, because he was the blessed one (see Matthew 16:17)
- John would have rebutted that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved
- Whatever the case, they brought the donkey back
- The date is important
- Took place on the tenth of Nisan
- Same day the lambs were selected by the families for sacrifice at Passover
- Jerusalem was packed with people
- Five times the normal amount
- Between two and two-and-a-half million people
- Jesus' request was not a spur-of-the-moment decision
- This was predicted by the prophets (see Zechariah 9:9)
- Deliberate claim to be the King of Israel
- Kings rode horses in times of war, but donkeys in times of peace
- When a king entered a town on a donkey, he was extending terms of peace
- Jesus had never done this before
- He had deliberately avoided any overtures of making Himself a king (see John 6:15)
- He cautioned the people He healed not to tell others about what He had done for them
- Celebration (vv. 37-38)
- As Jesus entered Jerusalem, people sang His praises and waved palm leaves (see John 12:13)
- Palm leaves were a sign of deliverance
- 150 years earlier, there was a war between Judas Maccabeus and the Syrians who had control of the city
- When Maccabeus won and delivered the people, they sang and waved palm branches as he entered the city
- The lyrics they sang were from Psalm 118:26
- Messianic psalm
- Hósanna = save, we pray
- Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:10; John 12:13
- "Save us now!"
- They sang loudly
- Whatever you speak in praise should be done with confidence
- Revelation 5:11-12
- In our worship, we should sing it like we mean it
- Consternation (vv. 39-40)
- Not everyone was singing His praise
- The Pharisees knew prophecy
- They knew the predictions about the Messiah coming on a donkey
- They knew about Psalm 118:26 and hósanna
- They knew the crowd thought Jesus was the Messiah, but they didn't think so
- One reason Jesus presented Himself as He did was to force the Jewish leaders to act
- They originally wanted to wait to arrest Him until after the Passover (see Matthew 26:3-5)
- God's plan was that His Son, the Lamb of God, would die on Passover
- Jesus is the fulfillment of Passover
- Just as the lambs were being presented for Passover on the tenth of Nisan, the Lamb of God was presented to the city
- Just as Passover would take place a few days later, Jesus would die on that date
- If the people had been silent, even the rocks would cry out
- The crowd was celebrating
- In a few days, some of those same people would call for His crucifixion
- Not all of them were true disciples of Jesus
- When they discovered He was not going to deliver them from Rome, they were done with Him
- God is not seeking frantic or frenetic worshipers, but authentic worshipers (see John 4:23)
- Lamentation (vv. 41-44)
- Jesus wept over the city
- Klaió = weep, mourn, lament
- Only the second time Jesus wept in public (see John 11:35)
- Jesus looked around and looked ahead
- Looked around at the spiritual blindness
- Looked ahead and saw what was coming to the city
- In AD 70 the Romans surrounded the city
- Laid siege for 143 days, leaving 600,000 people dead and the temple destroyed
- It was as though Jesus was holding them accountable for knowing that day
- Daniel 9:24-26 gave the very countdown to the coming of the Messiah
- This prophecy concerns the Jews
- Set period of time
- Determined = set aside, divided, cut off from
- God marked a specific time to accomplish these purposes
- Shibim shabua = seventy sevens
- Seventy sets of seven
- We in the West use tens (decades) to mark time; the Jews used sevens (heptads)
- Sevens were important in Jewish culture
- Work for six days, rest on the seventh
- Work the land for six years, let it rest on the seventh
- Seventy weeks of years, or 490 years
- Daniel was studying the prophecies of Jeremiah
- Jeremiah predicted the Jews would be in captivity seventy years (see Jeremiah 29:10)
- The seventy years was almost up
- These years of exile were punishment for 490 years of disobedience by the Jewish nation (see 2 Chronicles 36:20-21)
- They did not keep the Sabbath year—for 490 years, they did not let the land rest on each seventh year
- The Lord took back the seventy years by removing them from the land
- The angel Gabriel visited Daniel and told him about another set of 490 years where God would accomplish His purposes
- Start date is found in Daniel 9:25
- The day the commandment went forth to rebuild Jerusalem
- At the time Daniel received the vision, the city lay in ruins
- From the date of that commandment, it would be 483 years until the Messiah showed up
- From history, we know that there were four edicts to rebuild Jerusalem
- Only one fits the details of this prediction
- Given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 BC (see Nehemiah 2)
- It took them forty-nine years to restore Jerusalem (seven sevens)
- If you count 483 years from that date, you should arrive at the time of Messiah
- This so intrigued Sir Robert Anderson that he decided to calculate it
- Converted 483 years into days (176,880)
- Counted 176,880 days from March 14, 445 BC
- Came to April 6, AD 32—the tenth of Nisan
- This was the day Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey
- Jesus showed up on the exact day predicted by Daniel the prophet
- Daniel also said the Messiah would be cut off (see Daniel 9:26)
- Karath = to cut off
- To be killed because of the death penalty
- When are we as believers going to just trust the Lord for our future?
- If God is this precise, don't you think He can handle your tomorrow?
- All of the promises God made that He has already kept is the track record that lets us know we can trust Him
- How will you respond in your day of visitation?
- Like the fickle crowd: trust Him one day but not the next
- Like the Pharisees: have enough of Him
- Like the donkey: the most compliant one in the story
Sir Robert Anderson, William Barclay, Flavius Josephus, Artaxerxes Longimanus, Martin Luther, Judas Maccabeus, Charles Spurgeon
hósanna, karath, klaió, shibim shabua
2 Chronicles 36:20-21; Nehemiah 2; Psalm 118:26; Jeremiah 29:10; Daniel 9:24-26; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 14:13-21; 16:17; 21:9; 26:3-5; Mark 6:37-44; 11:10; Luke 5:4-9; 9:12-17; John 4:23; 6:5-13, 15; 11:35; 12:13; 21:2-6; 1 Peter 1:10; Revelation 5:11-12
Keywords: prophecy, predictions, triumphal entry, donkey, Jerusalem, Passover, Lamb of God, worship, celebration, set time, seventy weeks prophecy, trust