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Lessons

Jesus Enters Jerusalem. The Sunday before Easter is celebrated as Palm Sunday which signifies Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The gospel of Matthew has four occurrences that tells of the suffering Jesus has to encounter leading up to the resurrection. Matthew 16:21 is the first occurrence that tells of Jesus going into Jerusalem, foretells of his suffering, his eventual death, then reveals the fact that he will rise on the third day. Each occurrence in Matthew tells something a little different about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The same is true in the other three gospels. The gospels tell of four primary ministries of Jesus to the nation of Israel. These four ministries are: 1) The proclamation of the Kingdom, 2) the proclamation of the King, 3) the rejection of the King, and finally, 4) the rejection of the Kingdom. Matt 16:21 signifies the beginning of the third ministry which is the rejection of the King. Why must Jesus go to Jerusalem? For it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. Jesus is declaring that he is the Prophet. The second occurrence is in Matthew 17:22 which adds the fact of his betrayal. Matthew 20:17 is the third reference telling of his entry into Jerusalem. This passage adds the detail about gentiles mocking him. The final declaration is in Matthew 20:28 and tells why he would give his life as a ransom for many to take away the sins of Israel. It’s not until later in Ephesians do we learn of God’s plan for the gentiles. Jesus wept twice in the Bible. Once he wept for those who mourned for Lazarus because they demonstrated their unbelief in the power of God. The second time was on his way to Jerusalem when he approached the city, he wept over it saying “if thou had known the time of thy visitation” in Luke 19:41. The lesson on April 13, 2003 studies the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and prepares us for the resurrection story on Easter.

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