Again in our lesson this week, we are going to be focusing on a lesson that is geared towards triumph.  As we saw in last week’s lesson, we are going to be doing another flashback and then a flash forward.  This week’s lesson is going to take a look at one of the most famous prophecies of the coming of Christ and then we will flash forward to Christ coming to Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday.  This week’s lesson is being taught from Isaiah 9:6-7 and John 12:12-16.

The First Coming of Christ

Our lesson opens up with the well known prophecy of Christ in the book of Isaiah.  “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given,” is how our lesson opens this week (Is. 9:6).  Again, this scripture is very well known by believers everywhere and even by some that are not of the faith.  

Let us note how ‘Child’ and ‘Son’ are proper nouns in this verse.  So, this is clearly a prophecy about one who would be divine.  We know for a certainty that this verse is speaking about the Messiah, Jesus Christ because the only divine Son is the only begotten of God.  As said in John’s gospel, God loved the world and He gave the world His only begotten Son (John 3:16).  Through His birth, again, we see that victory – triumph – would come because He was born into our world.

Now, let us further note what this verse prophecies about Christ.  Scripture states, “the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  So, the coming Messiah was one that was coming in true might.

I want to add the next verse in before I dive into my thoughts on these two verses.  The next verse of this prophecy stated, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Is. 9:7).”

Misunderstood prophecy of triumph

Now, this prophecy was very well known by the time that Jesus walked the earth.  However, this wonderful prophecy was one that was greatly misunderstood by the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.  What do I mean by this?

The coming of Christ was to be one that would herald in triumph (victory) for all of mankind.  Again, as Jesus said, those that believe in Him will have everlasting life.  God gave the world His only begotten Son, not to condemn and destroy, but to save (Matt. 5:17).  This prophecy, while it spoke of the Son being given to the world – His birth – I want you to also understand that this prophecy also spoke towards the everlasting kingdom.

We will see that this is a prophecy of the everlasting (eternal) kingdom when the prophecy first states that the Son will be called the everlasting Father.  This connects Jesus to being the divine one that saint John spoke of in the first verse of his gospel.  John wrote that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).

Next, the prophecy plainly states, “of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.”  The peace that is spoken of in this verse, since there will be no end to it, speaks to an eternal peace.  The government that is spoken of in this prophecy is not a government of our world.  In fact, we have seen governments try for a very long time to establish peace in the world but all our world has ever known has been oppression, unrest, and war.  

The government of everlasting peace that this prophecy speaks of is one that will be established at the second coming of Christ when He sits upon the throne during the Millennial Kingdom.  Even when the Millennial Kingdom comes to an end, those that will be with Christ will forever be in His peace.  Yes, there is going to be the final ‘battle’ against Satan and the other wicked ones but that shall pass quickly and those that join Satan will be cast away for all of eternity.

Now, this prophecy was misunderstood by the Jews of Jesus’ day, especially the religious leaders.  They were expecting for the Messiah to establish this government (kingdom) during that time.  The Jews were expecting a mighty king, in the image of David, that would come and defeat the Romans, as David did with the Philistines.  Jesus, however, came humbly and peacefully with a message of deliverance and salvation to those that would believe and be a part of His future kingdom where He would rule as King.

Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

Our lesson now skips ahead in time to Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  So, just like we saw in last week’s lesson, there is a juxtaposition we will see in Jesus’ triumphant entry into the world and His triumphant entry into the last week of His life.  This passage of scripture from John’s gospel picks up where we left off in last week’s lesson.  Last week, we saw Jesus having supper at the house of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary in Bethany.

A celebrated entry by some

We are told that the next day, Jerusalem was filled with people who were coming for the feast of Passover.  Remember, we saw that the feast was six days away when Jesus was eating at the house of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary (John 12:1).  So, the very next day after Mary anointed the feet of Jesus, we see him entering Jerusalem (John 12:12).

Jesus’ entrance was one that was celebrated by His followers.  I specifically point out that His followers celebrated Him coming to Jerusalem because they were the only ones celebrating Him.  By this point in time, the religious desired to kill Jesus for quite some time because of His ministry (Matt. 12:9-14); they disagreed and antagonized Jesus every opportunity they could.  

The religious leaders had gotten so back in their desire to discredit Jesus’ ministry that they desired to kill Lazarus because he stood as a living testimony of Jesus’ ministry (John 12:10-11).  So, while Jesus’ entrance was one of triumph for some, it was one that caused a great amount of anger in others.

Those that loved Jesus laid out palm branches before Him in celebration of His coming to Jerusalem (John 12:13).  We are then told that Jesus sat on a donkey to ride into Jerusalem, which fulfilled prophecy from Zechariah 9:9 (John 12:14-15).  Jesus riding into Jerusalem is often not given much attention but it was very significant for Jesus to enter into Jerusalem on a donkey.

Riding on a colt

The significance of this is that kings, when they went on diplomatic missions of peace, would ride on donkeys (or colts).  Colts are young horses, about 4 years and younger.  Unlike the adult horse, the younger colt was not considered an animal of war; adult horses were used as war animals.  When a king rode a donkey, it was a sign that the king was coming in peace, not in war.

So, Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey was significant for two reasons.  Firstly, it was an outward show that Jesus was a king, especially to those that followed and accepted Him.  Secondly, where the Jewish leaders saw Him as an enemy and had a great disdain for Him, Jesus was coming in peace.  Again, as prophesied in Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace.  To repeat this again, Jesus did not come to make war and destroy – He came to save souls.

Prophecy fulfilled

Our lesson closes with Saint John writing that he and the other disciples did not understand the celebratory entrance of Jesus or the fact that He rode into Jerusalem on a colt (John 12:16).  Now, this was not a knock against the disciples.  Like many of us, it is possible that they had once heard about or read the prophecy about the Messiah riding on a colt from the book of Zechariah but could not remember the prophecy at that exact moment.  However, afterwards, whether it was months or years after this event, the disciples were able to rejoice at the confirmation of prophecy.

It took several centuries for Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming of the Son to be fulfilled.  When the coming of the only begotten Son was fulfilled, triumph and great rejoicing filled our world.  At His coming to Jerusalem, prophecy was fulfilled again through His suffering (Is. 53).  There is another prophecy that many people mock in our world today; that is the prophecy of Jesus’ second coming.

As we see prophesied in scripture, Jesus is coming again and no man knows the day nor the hour of His coming (Mark 13:32-33).  Yet, when He comes, He will establish the millennial kingdom of peace in the world (Rev. 20:1-4).  Jesus’ bride will be with Him when He comes the second time, and after the judgment of sin at the White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15), Jesus’ bride, the church, will be with Him for all of eternity.  There will be great rejoicing the day that this prophecy is fulfilled (Rev. 21).


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