- Jerusalem is an ancient city that existed before Israel came to the land of Canaan.
- Abraham meets Melchizedek who lives in Salem (Genesis 14:18).
- Jerusalem belonged to the Jebusites and was called Jebus (Judges 19:10-11). Joshua captured Jebus, but seems to have lost the city eventually (Judges 1:8).
- Jerusalem was conquered by David and made the capital of Israel (1 Chron 11:4-9).
- God chose Jerusalem as the center of worship and where the temple would be built (1 Kings 11:36).
- The word “Salem” in Jerusalem comes from the Hebrew word shalom, which in English means “peace” or “peace”. Jerusalem is also sometimes called the “City of David” or “Zion”.
- Jerusalem originally consisted of two hills: Zion, where the castle and the defenses of Jerusalem stood (2 Sam 5:7), and Moriah, where Abraham (not) sacrificed Isaac (Gen 22:2) and where Solomon built the temple (2 Chron 3:1).
- Jerusalem is a holy city in the sense that it is consecrated by God to be a place where he does special things and reveals himself (1 Kings 11:36, Matthew 27:53).
- The Mount of Olives, also known as the Mount of Olives, is a hillside just outside the walls of Jerusalem, overlooking Jerusalem and the Temple. Zechariah prophesied that God himself would stand with his feet on the Mount of Olives and that the Mount of Olives would be split in two on the Day of the Lord (Zech 14:4).
- Jesus often withdrew from the noise of Jerusalem to spend time in peace with his disciples on the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39).
- Jesus flew up to heaven from the Mount of Olives and that is where he will return (Acts 1:9-12).
- In Jesus’ time there was a law called “Angaria” which meant that a lord, king, rabbi or similar, had the right to use the property of others. This right is now being used by Jesus on the grounds that he is “the Lord”.
- If we try to live as disciples of Jesus, there will be times in our lives when Jesus will ask us to do things. If we put ourselves at God’s disposal, he will also want to use us to spread his kingdom.
- An animal not yet used as a worker was sometimes used for certain religious purposes (Numbers 19:2, Deuteronomy 21:3, 1 Samuel 6:7).
- Zechariah prophesied that the king of Jerusalem would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt, eradicate strife, and speak peace to the nations (Zech 9:9-10).
- Given that Jesus will use this donkey to ride into Jerusalem as king, it is safe to say that Jesus is claiming to be lord, king and Messiah.
- On the Feast of Tabernacles, Hosanna from Psalm 118:25 was recited while palm leaves were waved and tabernacles were built from palm leaves and other branches (Leviticus 23:39-44). The Feast of Tabernacles (also called Sukkot) is celebrated to commemorate Israel’s wilderness wandering.
- In biblical times, this was often how a king or leader was received:
- The people put their cloaks under the feet of Jehu when he became king (2 Kings 9:13).
- When Simon Thassi enters Jerusalem and offers peace, the people wave palm leaves and sing hymns (1 Macc 13:51).
- In his revelation, John sees people from all nations waving palm leaves before the Lamb (Rev 7:9).
- There are similarities between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and a “Roman triumphal procession”. The Romans would sometimes honour a victorious commander by staging a large procession in Rome. The triumphal procession included politicians, priests, sacrificial animals. They carried stretchers with treasures he had taken in the war. Prisoners were brought out and executed. Generals rode their war horses. It all ended with a sacrificial feast.
- One of the most famous triumphs is the triumph of Titus after he defeated the Jews and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. In the procession they carried the seven-armed candlestick of Jerusalem, the menorah, which is still depicted on the Great Arch of Titus in Rome.
- On previous occasions Jesus has tried to silence those who wanted to proclaim him as the Messiah, but now he accepts the accolades (Mark 8:29-30). On another occasion, the people tried to make Jesus the new king of Israel by force in order to free the Jewish people from the Romans (John 6:14-15).
- When Jesus now rides into Jerusalem like a Roman triumphal procession, but on a donkey instead of a war horse, it shows that Jesus does intend to be king, but not in the way the people had intended. In the Middle East of biblical times, a horse symbolised “war” and a donkey “peace”.
- In the other Gospels, the crowd praises Jesus by shouting “Hosanna!”
- Hosanna is a combination of the two Hebrew words “save” and “I/we pray” and is quoted from Psalm 118:25.
- On the Feast of Tabernacles, Hosanna from Psalm 118:25 was recited while palm leaves were waved and tabernacles were built from palm leaves and other branches (Leviticus 23:39-44).
- The expression “hosanna” was associated with a prayer and longing for the Messiah to come and save the people of Israel.
- The crowd praises Jesus “for all the works of power which they had seen”. In the same way, we should also praise Jesus for all the answers to prayer and blessings we have received.
- The name of the Lord is YHWH and is translated into English as “I am who I am” or the short form “I am” (Exodus 3:13-15).
- In biblical times, it was very rare to speak God’s name because people were afraid to misuse or defame God’s name (Leviticus 24:15-16).
- When the Scriptures said “YHWH”, they wrote or pronounced “Adonaj” in Hebrew, “Kyrios” in Greek or “Lord” in English.
- Since Mark is quoting Psalm 118:26 here, we know that it originally says “YHWH”.
- Now that Jesus is the one who comes in the name of the Lord, and also called himself “the Lord” in the past, he clearly claims to be YHWH.