Heavenly Father, we commit this time to You and give You our full attention, in Jesus’ name Amen.
John 12: 12-19, Palm Sunday, lamb selection day, triumphal entry.
5 days before Passover on the 10th of Nisan, is Palm Sunday, lamb selection day or triumphal entry. This event is recorded in all the 4 gospels. On this day, a Jewish family selects a lamb, takes it home, and looked after it until the 14th day of Nisan to sacrifice it in the temple. On this day, the Lamb of God, entered Jerusalem on a donkey to triumph over sin.
V12- 13, 12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
A great crowd of Israelites came to greet Jesus, waving palm branches as Jesus entered Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. They shouted the messianic Psalm 118: 25-26, “LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.’’ Hosanna means, ‘‘save us’’. They demanded Jesus to save them from the Romans. But Jesus came to save them from sin, not from the Romans.
VV14-15, 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion, see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey to fulfill the prophecy of Zech 9:9, ‘’Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey”. Jesus, the Prince of peace, enter Jersusalem on a donkey, a beast of peace.
V 16, At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him’
His disciples did not understand the significance all these until after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and glorification.
VV 17-19, 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him”
Jesus’ popularity ranking with the Israelites was at an all time high because He raised Lazarus from death after 4 days in the tomb. The Pharisees were envious when they saw Jesus’ popularity with the Israelites.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Palm Sunday. Thank you for saving us from sin. in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, once again, we come before You in Your throne of grace. We confessed that we are sinners. Please forgive and have mercy on us, in Jesus’ name, Amen
John 12: 1-11, Anointing of Jesus by Mary of Bethany.
VV 1-3, 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.3 Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
6 days before the Passover, Jesus and His disciples were invited to a dinner hosted by Mary, Marta and Lazarus of Bethany. Marta served. Her love language was service. Mary took an alabaster flask of spikenard, broke it, poured it on Jesus’ feet, and wiped His feet dry with her hair. Mary’s love language was worship. Spikenard, a perfume imported from India, was very expensive, and was worth 300 denarii, almost one year’s wage.
VV 4-6, 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. “6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, objected, saying it was a waste of funds, but he was a thief who frequently stole from the coffer and had a bad motive.
VV 7-8, 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me”.
Jesus defended Mary’s action for anointing His body for burial. When Jesus hanged on the cross on Good Friday, Mary’s perfume would be very soothing to Him. Matthew 6:12-13, ‘’When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
VV 9-11, 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
A large crowd of Jews came to Bethany to see Jesus and Lazarus, the living testimony. Out of envious and jealousy, the chief priests wanted to kill Lazarus to prevent him from testifying for Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank You for this timeless story of the anointing of Jesus by Mary of Bethany, in Jesus‘ name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, thank You that it is by grace that we have been saved through faith in Your Son Jesus Christ and not by work. Give us the stamina, energy, strength, wisdom, persistence, consistency to study and meditate on Your word, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 11: 36-57, the 7th Sign, raising of Lazarus.
VV 36-39, 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
The raising of Lazarus after 4 day in the tomb was the 7th and most remarkable sign of Jesus. After 4 days in the tomb, Lazarus’ body would have undergone decay and decomposition. The Jews questioned Jesus’ inability to prevent Lazarus’ death. Jesus demanded to roll back the stone but Marta objected saying, ‘’Lord, by now it stinkered’’ (KJV). In first-century Israel, the Jews buried their dead in caves. After wrapping the corpse with linens from head to toes, and putting it inside the tomb, they seal the entrance with a large round stone. After many months, relatives of the dead person collect the bones and stored them in a stone box called an ossuary.
VV 40-44,40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Jesus told Marya to believe. One of the prominent key words in John’s Gospel is the word “believe”. Jesus prayed to His Father in a loud voice, “Lazarus come out”. Lazarus came out wrapped in the grave linens. Jesus said, remove the grave linens and set him free. When Jesus resurrected on Easter, His body passed through the grave linens like a butterfly coming out from a cocoon. The Resurrected Christ was raised to eternal life. The resurrected Lazarus was raised to a natural life which will die again. Christians will be resurrected to eternal life in the rapture, 1 Thess 4: 16, ‘’For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first”.
VV 45-48, 45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
After the raising of Lazarus, many Jews believed but not all. Some of the Jews reported the incident to the Pharisees. The chief priests were Sadducees, who did not believe in miracles, spirits, angels, demons, and resurrection. The Pharisees believed in miracles, spirits, angels, demons, and resurrection. The Sadducees and the Pharisees hated each other but their common hatred for Jesus allowed them to work together.
VV 49-53, 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation,52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to. qbring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
Caiaphas, the high priest commented that if all the Israelites believed in Jesus, the Romans would destroy their temple and nation. God used an unbelieving and unregenerate Jew to prophesie the substitutionary atonement of Jesus and the destruction of Israel. God could spoke through a donkey, see Numbers 22:21- 39.
V 54-57, 54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead, he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples. 55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.
To escape from the Jews, Jesus and His disciples withdrew to a remote village called Ephraim. As the Passover feast was approaching, the chief priests and Pharisees were determined to arrest and kill Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank You that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.