Messiah, King, And Lamb - The One Year Christian History

Messiah, King, And Lamb

Was it a prophecy fulfilled to the day?

THE DAY was March 30, A.D. 33, four days before Passover. As Jesus set out for Jerusalem from Bethany on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples on ahead.

“Go into the village over there,” he said, “and you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them here. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately send them.” This was done to fulfill the prophecy, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey—even on a donkey’s colt.’”

The two disciples did as Jesus said. They brought the animals to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it. (Matthew 21:2-7)

[As Jesus rode the donkey toward Jerusalem,] the crowds spread out their coats on the road ahead [to honor him]. As they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. “Bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in highest heaven!”

But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” (Luke 19:36-40)

This was the official entry of the Messiah-King into Jerusalem. Just as David’s son Solomon had ridden a donkey at his presentation as king to Jerusalem’s cheering crowds a little over a millennium earlier (1 Kings 1:33-46), so Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey to proclaim publicly that he was the greater Son of David who would sit on David’s throne.

As Jesus drew nearer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to cry. “Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you. They will crush you to the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you have rejected the opportunity God offered you” (19:41-44).

This prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Roman armies conquered the Jewish people, destroyed the city of Jerusalem, and left not one stone standing upon another (21:6, 20-24).

More than five hundred years earlier God had revealed to the prophet Daniel that 483 years after the command to rebuild Jerusalem the Messiah would come (Daniel 9:25). King Artaxerxes of Persia gave the command to rebuild Jerusalem in the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of his reign (Nehemiah 2:1). The Jews did not use a solar calendar as we do today, and in biblical prophecies the years are composed of 360 days (Revelation 11:2, 3; 12:6; 13:5). The exact day of the month is not given, but if the command to rebuild Jerusalem was given on the first of Nisan, March 5, 444 B.C., it was 483 years of 360 days later to the day, March 30, A.D. 33, that Jesus formally entered the city as the Messiah. The prophecy likely was fulfilled to the day!

Something else also happened on that day. It was the day when the lambs to be slain at Passover were selected. In his triumphal entry Jesus was presenting himself as the Passover Lamb.


The Jews of Jesus’ day had to decide whether or not they would commit themselves to Jesus as their Messiah, King, and Passover Lamb. The issue for us today is the same.

John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29

From the Book:

The One Year Christian History cover image

The One Year Christian History
By E. Michael Rusten and Sharon O. Rusten

Read Now