In Zechariah 9:9, the prophet speaks of a future king presenting himself to Jerusalem while riding on a humble donkey. This foreshadowed something that happened about 500 years later. As explained in Luke 19:35-44, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and presented himself as the Messiah, the King.
This is just one of many Old Testament prophecies that Jesus literally fulfilled during His ministry. Today in church we sang a song of praise that included the word “Hosanna” and I couldn’t help but think of the majesty of this event. Here was Jesus, the promised Messiah, their divinely chosen King, riding into Jerusalem, fulfilling this prophecy.
Zechariah 9:9 NIV
“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.”
Luke 19:35-44 NIV
“They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
According to Matthew, the crowd that accompanied Jesus that day shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (21:9), as did the children later in the temple (v. 15). Mark ( 11:9 ) and John ( 12:13 ) do not have “to the Son of David, ” but all three follow the opening cry with, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (from Psalm 118:26 ). Matthew and Mark conclude the people’s cries with “Hosanna in the highest” (apparently an echo of Psalm 148:1 ), which John omits. But Mark inserts “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David” ( 11:10 ), and John adds, “Blessed is the King of Israel” ( 12:13 ). These appear to be interpretations of “he who comes in the name of the Lord.” And they agree essentially with Luke’s formulation of the people’s words taken from Psalm 118:26, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord” ( 19:38 ).
A Little History
Gessius Florus loved money and hated Jews. As Roman procurator, he ruled Judea, caring little for their religious sensibilities. When tax revenues were low, he seized silver from the temple. As the uproar against him grew, in A.D. 66, he sent troops into Jerusalem who massacred 3,600 citizens. Florus’s action touched off an explosive rebellion—the First Jewish Revolt—that had been sizzling for some time.
The Jewish Revolt began—and met its bitter end—at Masada, a hunk of rock overlooking the Dead Sea. The Romans had built a virtually impregnable fortress there. Yet the atrocities of Florus inspired some Zealots to attack Masada. Amazingly, they won, slaughtering the Roman army there.
In Jerusalem, the temple captain signified solidarity with the revolt by stopping the daily sacrifices to Caesar. Soon all Jerusalem was in an uproar, expelling or killing the Roman troops. Then all Judea was in revolt; then Galilee.
Cestius Callus, the Roman governor of the region, marched from Syria with twenty thousand soldiers. He besieged Jerusalem for six months, yet failed. He left six thousand dead Roman soldiers, not to mention weaponry that the Jewish defenders picked up and used.
Emperor Nero then sent Vespasian, a decorated general, to quell the Judean rebellion. Vespasian put down the opposition in Galilee, then in Transjordan, then in Idumea. He circled in on Jerusalem. But before the coup de grace, Nero died. Vespasian became embroiled in a leadership struggle that concluded with the eastern armies calling for him to be emperor. One of his first imperial acts was to appoint his son Titus to conduct the Jewish War.
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 CE was the decisive event of the First Jewish–Roman War. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been controlled by Judean rebel factions since 66 CE, following the Jerusalem riots of 66, when the Judean Free Government was formed in Jerusalem.
The siege ended on 30 August 70 CE with the burning and destruction of its Second Temple, and the Romans entered and sacked the Lower City. The destruction of both the first and second temples is still mourned annually as the Jewish fast Tisha B’Av. The Arch of Titus, celebrating the Roman sack of Jerusalem and the Temple, still stands in Rome. The conquest of the city was complete on 8 September 70 CE.
According to Josephus, the siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of 960 people, the Sicarii rebels and their families hiding there.
Real prophecy, real events, real history.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!