Acceptance & Betrayal

As Jesus entered Jerusalem on the Sunday before He died, He rode on a donkey, both to fulfill prophecy and to make a declaration. Zechariah prophesied about this event hundreds of years before Jesus was born.

Zechariah 9:9
9  Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Jesus is the King Who Saves. In the first century, people would line the streets of their city with palm branches in a royal procession to welcome their king to town. For Jesus, the people covered the street in palm branches and cried out to Him: “Hosanna!”, which literally means, “Save us!” The people in Jerusalem were looking for a temporal, earthly king, but Jesus was establishing an eternal, spiritual kingdom. To this day, Jesus offers salvation to all who will trust in Him.

Mark 11:1-10
1  When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples 2  and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 3  If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’”

4  So they went and found a young donkey outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, 5  and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the donkey?” 6  They answered them just as Jesus had said, so they let them go. 7  Then they brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their robes on it, and He sat on it. 8  Many people spread their robes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields.

9  Then those who went ahead and those who followed kept shouting: Hosanna! He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One! 10  The coming kingdom of our father David is blessed! Hosanna in the highest heaven!

Jesus stayed in the vicinity of Jerusalem for the next few days. He knew that He was headed to the cross. This was the reason that He came to earth: to provide the way of salvation. He spent His time that week teaching the people, cleansing the temple, and describing the kingdom of heaven. As He gathered to celebrate the Passover with His disciples, He made a startling revelation: one of His disciples would betray Him.

Jesus is the Lamb Who Saves. During the Passover festival, a lamb was sacrificed, dying as a substitute for the people. The lamb died so that the people could live. Judas’ betrayal of Jesus would ultimately lead to Jesus’ death on the cross. Yet Jesus willingly died to pay the penalty for our sin.

As Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples, He gave the meal new meaning. No longer was it simply a remembrance of the escape from Egypt. Now it would be a time to remember that Jesus’ body was broken (represented by the bread) and His blood was shed (represented by the cup) for our salvation.

Mark 14:12-26
12  On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, His disciples asked Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare the Passover so You may eat it?” 13  So He sent two of His disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him. 14  Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room for Me to eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15  He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.”16  So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as He had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

17  When evening came, He arrived with the Twelve. 18  While they were reclining and eating, Jesus said, “I assure you: One of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me!” 19  They began to be distressed and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?” 20  He said to them, “It is one of the Twelve—the one who is dipping bread with Me in the bowl. 21  For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

22  As they were eating, He took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23  Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them, and so they all drank from it. 24  He said to them, “This is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many. 25  I assure you: I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in the kingdom of God.” 26  After singing psalms, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

So, two questions for you:

Is Jesus your King? If He is, then cheerfully and faithfully obey His commands, because they will lead you to abundant life.

Is Jesus your Savior? If He is, then thank Him for your salvation! If He is not yet, then trust in Him today. Read more HERE about Jesus becoming your Savior.

Jesus is the King Who Saves and Jesus is the Lamb Who Saves. Some people accept Him but tragically others reject Him. What will you do with Jesus?

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