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Monday 3 June 2019

This week we will be looking at some of the passages that Roy Morley shared with us on Sunday.

Zechariah 9:9-10

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle-bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Matthew 21:1-11

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.’

This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet:

‘Say to Daughter Zion,
“See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’

‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’

‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’

The crowds answered, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’

When Matthew writes about the reaction of Jerusalem to the entry of Jesus on a donkey he says that the whole city was ‘stirred’. The Greek word for ‘stirred’ is ἐσείσθη (eseisthē). The same Greek word is used in Matthew 27:51 when it says the earth ‘shook’. From the root of this Greek word we also get the word ‘seismic’ and other English words to do with earthquakes.

Why did a travelling preacher on a donkey make such an impact when he entered Jerusalem?

Up to this point, Jesus has been telling his disciples not to tell anyone about his identity. Immediately after Peter recognised that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone who he was (Matthew 16:20). But now Jesus is going public. He is deliberately aligning himself with the messianic prophecy from Zechariah 9:9-10.

The word ‘Hosanna’ comes from the Hebrew phrase “hoshi’a na.” It means, “Save us!” It is a cry for help.

On one level, the people of Jerusalem wanted a political saviour who would free them from Roman occupation. But, whether they realised it at the time or not, they also had a deeper need. They were in need of a spiritual saviour who had been promised hundreds of years previously. They needed someone who would proclaim peace to the nations.

Today we may meet people who on the outside appear not to be in need of help. Or we may meet people who are unashamedly desperate for help. Either way, everyone is in need of a saviour. Nobody is so perfect that they do not need forgiveness of sins. Whether we live in Brentwood or elsewhere, deep down people are saying, “I’m lost – somebody save me!”

We have good news for lost people. Can you imagine the seismic impact it would have if more and more people around us were saved and transformed by Jesus?

Thomas Halley, Sawyers Church Leadership Team

Sawyers Church
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