Preparation For the Cross
Book of Matthew Chapter 21
We should understand that everything that our Lord Jesus Christ did while He was upon this earth was done in preparation for His death on that cruel Cross!
From this lesson till the end of the Book of Matthew we will witness the death, the burial, and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
In this chapter Matthew begins to record the last week in the life of our Redeemer.
We should understand that Jehovah made a literal and political covenant with David and the fulfillment of this covenant will also be literal and political, but it will also have a spiritual fulfillment.
Psa 89:2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
Psa 89:3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
Psa 89:4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
All the Old Testament prophets expected a literal fulfillment of all the things written of the Messiah.
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Isa 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
We know the Jews expected such a fulfillment of these things.
While the Jews craved a King David, God first sent a Savior.
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
In our lesson today we will see our Messiah be welcomed as this promised King on one day and a few days later He is crucified.
*Mat 21:1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
Bethphage was the name of a small village on the Mount of Olives and was situated at a fork in the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.
Bethphage was also close to Bethany.
It is at this fork in the road where Jesus sent two of the disciples to fetch a year-old donkey and its mother.
*Mat 21:2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
Mat 21:3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
We might ask ourselves, why would the Lord need this colt?
A year-old colt had reached his full strength, but it would have to be broken before it could be ridden or before it could be used to carry supplies.
This colt would do these things for Jesus, but it would also fulfill prophecy.
By riding this colt through the streets of Jerusalem, the Lord Jesus Christ would be proclaiming He was a King.
Many have had different thoughts as to why the Lord Jesus did this thing but there is only one reason, to fulfill prophecy!
Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Some would say that the Lord Jesus made prior arrangements to get these animals but that is not necessary for God or why would two of the Lord’s disciples be questioned.
We should believe that the Lord demonstrated His omniscience as further proof to these 12 disciples.
God knows everything that is happening, all the time.
The Lord was saying to these 12 and to all that knew Him that He was certainly the Messiah.
He was not proclaiming to be the physical King of Israel at this time.
He was proclaiming to be the Spiritual King at this time as Jesus said to Pilate.
Joh 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
Joh 18:34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
Joh 18:35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
The Lord Jesus will return to be not only King of Israel but King of all this world for 1000 years.
*Mat 21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
Mat 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
Everything that the Lord Jesus did while He walked upon this earth was a fulfillment of prophecy!
Had the Messiah not come to save, we could toss the entire Bible out as false, but He did, just as He will return.
You see the Lord had a purpose behind such detailed preparations!
Zechariah said to tell Jerusalem and this telling was a warning.
He said the King in the line of David was coming just as written in the Scriptures.
He was coming in meekness not as the reigning King.
He would be sitting upon a donkey not as a conqueror.
The Lord Jesus made sure this prophecy was completed just as written so there would be no misunderstanding.
The Lord did not come to execute “judgment”, this would take place at His Second Coming.
The Lord did come to provide a means of salvation to whosoever would believe all these things.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
The Lord Jesus the Christ will return!
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
*Mat 21:6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
Mat 21:7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
Mat 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
These two disciples found these things to be just as the Lord had said.
There was no saddle for this animal because it had never been ridden so they placed their own robes upon this animal.
Then they helped the Lord to sit upon this animal.
Jesus Christ rode this animal into Jerusalem as a King but not as the King of Israel and He explains this later.
Jesus was deliberately accepting this homage from the disciples and all the multitudes that had gathered.
All the multitude showed homage by placing their clothing and palm branches and other branches from trees along His pathway even straw in some places.
We are to always obey the Lord without asking questions!
As our Spiritual King entered into Jerusalem, He rode to the Temple and not to the palace.
All these things mean, as we make a way for Jesus Christ to enter the hearts of the lost, we need to give Our Lord the very best that we can!
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!
*Mat 21:10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
Mat 21:11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
We should understand that at the time of the Passover there would be over 2 million Jews in Jerusalem even in the day of Jesus and many of those did not know anything about what the Lord Jesus had been doing.
Certainly, they would want to know, just who was this man called Jesus as He rode in as a King.
Those multitudes that had been following Him gave them the answer, but in reality, it was the wrong answer.
Jesus was in fact the Son of David as prophesied!
Many of the local Jews had heard how Lazarus had been resurrected from the dead and that news had spread fast.
Thousands had gone forth to welcome this future King of the Jews.
Palm branches were waved by those traveling with Jesus and those that were welcoming Jesus.
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”.
Hosanna was shouted everywhere, and Hosanna means “save now”.
Psa 118:25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
Psa 118:26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
Psa 118:27 God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
Psa 118:28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
Psa 118:29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Sadly all the enemies of Jesus could think of only one thing.
Joh 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.
Joh 12:16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
Joh 12:17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
Joh 12:18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
Joh 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
We know that the Lord Jesus had taken a moment to weep for those who were in Jerusalem on this day because the Lord knew what awaited Him.
Luk 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Luk 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Luk 19:43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
Luk 19:44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
Jesus did not go to the palace of the king but instead He went to the Temple.
Jesus had not come to be King of Israel at this time!
*Mat 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Mat 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
This is the second time the Lord Jesus had cleansed the Temple.
Joh 2:13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
Joh 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
Joh 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
Joh 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
There were always money changers because only true Temple Coins could be used, so there was the weighing of coins, deductions for out of area coins, arguing, disputing, and bargaining.
Lambs for sacrifice and many others who bought and sold.
The Temple was nothing more than a bazaar during the days of the festivals.
It seemed so easy to buy a lamb to be sacrificed so your sins could be forgiven for one year.
The Lord’s House of Prayer had become worthless as the High Priestly family earned riches from these things that were taking place.
Jesus made no whip this time, the King needed no whip.
Jesus just overturned all the tables and ran those away who brought condemnation to the House of God.
The modern Church had better think on all these things as they have also become just dens of robbers.
Isa 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
The messenger had come to Israel, and he had been beheaded but the Lord had suddenly come to the Temple.
Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
Mal 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
The Lord will return and who then may abide the day of His coming.
There are those who refuse to believe that a third Temple will be built but they are wrong.
Not in the Church Age but surely during the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
It is the enemies of God who will build this third Temple just as the money for building of every Temple has come from the enemies of God.
The Temple is cleansed. Noise and confusion have ended.
During this confusion some of those who were not allowed inside the Temple came to be healed.
*Mat 21:14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
Those with infirmaries were not allowed inside the Temple but in the confusion, they ran to Jesus.
Those who had suffered the most came to see Jesus, the true Messiah.
There is no medical situation that the Lord Jesus Christ did not heal on this day!
Every Church, those that gather in the name of the Lord Jesus, are to be places for the ministries of Jesus Christ.
The Church is to be a place to find healing for your soul.
No matter what ails us, the Lord Jesus Christ can heal us!
Mat_15:31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
These are things that the world could not do at the time of Jesus, and no one can heal like Jesus did this day!
There were some enemies who were eyewitnesses to these things, yet their hearts were so hardened the only thing they saw was an enemy to their pocketbooks and their prestige.
*Mat 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,
Mat 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
Who were these chief priest and scribes that saw these wonderful things? They were the same ones who yelled “Crucify Him”!
Mat 26:3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
Mat 26:4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
The Temple was full of visitors from many nations, and they witnessed the Messiah.
They had not seen as our Lord road in on the donkey, but they saw the power of God right before their eyes.
You know there is nothing you can say or do to convince a religionist that they are wrong in their beliefs.
They have no faith in the words they uphold and certainly no faith in the truth of God.
They have made religion their God and they change it to suit any situation they do not agree with.
They also believe that they must destroy all those who oppose them!
Children believe what they see.
Children believe what they hear from adults.
Children can easily be taken away from the truth by those who reject the truth.
Children are capable of know the truth of Jesus Christ and be saved!
The Lord Jesus teaches us to have child-like faith in His truth.
These same children also witnessed the hatred for the truth from so-called respectable adults.
We should always offer praise to our Lord when we gather in His house, but also wherever we are and encourage our children to join in.
Jesus Christ always welcomed the children!
Notice how the Lord Jesus defended these children who offered perfect praise.
Some places of worship do not allow children to be in the audience while the preaching takes place, they are foolish. These places worship a false god because they do not obey what Jesus said to do.
Some places of worship till this day reject the Jesus the Christ, the Messiah. These places worship a false god!
Some places of worship reject the Jesus is the Savior of this entire world. These places worship a false god.
Some places of worship object to the public praising of our Lord and Savior. These places are centers for false teaching and blasphemy.
We should understand that is our Heavenly Father who raised up children to offer praise inside and outside the Church.
Psa 8:1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Psa 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
It is foolish adults who take these things away from their children!
If a Church ceases to praise the Lord, in all likelihood God will raise up some child or some young adult to voice their own praise for the truth of God!
Are you a child of God?
Heb 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Then you are one of His children!