God’s Arithmetic

Palm Sunday, 2021

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, 

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

(Matthew 21:1-11)

…Yet just a few days later they were shouting “Crucify him!” ??

I always wondered about this. Did the crowds of people really think he was the Messiah, or were they just swept up in the hype of the moment? 

They should have known he was the Messiah. The book of Daniel, Chapter 9, is very specific. It states that the time from when the issue is decreed to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes, will be 483 years (69 “sevens”). I’ve heard a few people over the years go over this, including the late Chuck Missler, and Jack Hibbs (senior pastor of Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills, California) just talked about it this morning. They think they know the exact date the issue to rebuild Jerusalem was decreed — March 14, 445 B.C.  Fast forward 483 years (reckoned by the 360-day Babylonian calendar, accounting for leap years) and you arrive at April 6, 32 A.D., as the exact date that Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. I’m far too stupid and lazy to try to do the math myself, but even a rough calculation of 483 years from what we know from history as the time Jerusalem was rebuilt takes us into the lifetime of Jesus.

The Pharisees should have known this. They spent their entire lives poring over every minutia of the Bible, and most of them probably had large portions of scripture entirely committed to memory. Yet they treated Jesus as an interloper at best, and a blasphemer at worst. While supposedly waiting for the Messiah, they completely missed him when he showed up. 

I don’t know how literate the average Jewish people of that day were. I think few people would have had the opportunity to study the actual scrolls for themselves, since books were an expensive commodity in those days, but if they at least heard the scriptures read then they would have learned them fairly well. How many people, then, understood Daniel and knew that they were living in the very time when the Messiah was supposed to come? There must have been some people who did the math, but it sure looks like most people blew it.

It makes me wonder how many people will completely blow it at the second coming of Christ. We know from scripture that the antichrist is someone who will affirm some kind of covenant with Israel for seven years. In the middle of that seven years he desecrates the temple in Jerusalem, declares himself to be God, and from that day there will be exactly 1,260 days (three and a half years) until Christ returns as King of King and Lord of Lords. (Daniel 9:27, Daniel 12:11-12, Revelation 12:14).

So as soon as people see the desecration of the temple, they should know to the very day how long until Jesus comes back. But instead of trusting in Him and waiting for Him, they go running around like idiots for three and a half years, getting the mark of the beast (i.e., selling their souls to Satan), and crying for the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from the wrath of God instead of crying out to God to forgive them (Revelation 6:15-17).

Many people blew it with the first coming of Christ, and many will blow it with the second — to their eternal misery and torment. Nobody needs to go through the great tribulation, nobody has to try to remember to do the math and remember the day Jesus comes back. If we belong to Christ then we will be saved out of the wrath to come.

And it’s so easy to get saved!  Romans 10:9-13:  If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. …For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

Jesus is calling out to you today. Answer him, call on his name and be saved! Then read the Bible, pray, get into a good Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church and start growing in your faith. Growing up in Christ is the journey of a lifetime but getting saved is so easy and you can do it right this very minute. Don’t be like the Pharisee in this cartoon. Don’t be too cool, too smart, or too busy for God and then miss out on the best thing that could possibly ever happen to you.  

Jesus loves you, and he wants you. Yes, YOU.

Yet to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  – John 1:12

BELIEVE + RECEIVE = BECOME

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s