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Sunday, March 20 2016
Matthew 21: Hosanna In The Highest
"Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest"
The Mount of Olives is a ridge located just a few hundred meters / yards east of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. About 3.5 kilometers / 2 miles long, it rises over 60 meters / 200 feet above the Kidron Valley which separates those two famous mounts (see Why Did King David Purchase The Temple Mount? and Zechariah: He Shall Stand Upon The Mount Of Olives).
Bethphage, from the Hebrew word meaning house of unripe figs, was a village located on the Mount Of Olives, on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho (see also Jesus In Jericho). Bethany was also a village on the Mount of Olives, on the south-eastern side, with a roundabout distance from Jerusalem of a little less than two miles.
One or the other of the villages were the scene of a number of well-known events during the ministry of the Messiah, including the resurrection of Lazarus (see Who Else Did They Want To Kill At Passover?), the obtaining of the donkey's colt that was used for the "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem (below), and the Messiah's ascension into heaven after His Resurrection (see the Fact Finder question below).
The Messiah's "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem as His Passover Sacrifice was nearing its due time (see also The Passover To Pentecost Connection) was greeted by cries of "hosanna." Hosanna is based on a Greek word of the New Testament that was derived from a combination of two Hebrew words of the Old Testament, pronounced yaw-shah, meaning to save or deliver, and naw, meaning pray. Originally intended as "Save/deliver us, I/we pray," hosanna is now more often used as a exclamation of praise.
"21:1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 21:2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 21:3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
The also-famous driving out of the bankers and peddlers from the Temple happened at that time. At the end of the day, He "went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there."
"21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
The Messiah was a Teacher. Like any good teacher, He made use of the things around Him to reveal Truth to those whose time of truth had come (see also The Meaning Of Parables).
"21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
The then-worldly religious "authorities" were "leaders" by nothing more than brute force and intimidation. On the other hand, the Messiah was a true Leader, not a mere blustering pusher (see Leaders And Pushers).
"21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
The way to repentance is seldom easy (see The Soul That Repents Shall Live and A Faithful Winner Among Unrepentant Losers). Nevertheless, those who have many problems in coming out of the dead-end ways of the world are far ahead of those who refuse to accept the LORD's offer of salvation.
"21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
The Messiah used vineyards in a number of His parables (see The Messiah's Vineyard Lessons). Among them was the "parable of the tenants" which was about the religious pirates who seized what others had built: "When the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them."
"21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
Fact Finder: Where did the Messiah ascend into heaven?
This Day In History, March 20
141: The 6th recorded perihelion (the point in the orbit of a comet or planet when it is closest to the sun) passage of what was later named Halley's Comet (named after English astronomer Edmond Halley, 1656-1742) (see also The Christian Universe and The Maker Of Mystic Mountain).
235: Maximinus Thrax was proclaimed Emperor of Rome. He was the first foreigner (he was born in the Balkans of northern Greece) to hold the Roman throne, and the first Roman Emperor to have never been in Rome (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
1413: King Henry IV of England died. He was succeeded by Henry V.
1568: Albert (German, Albrecht) died at age 78. The Protestant German ruler was known chiefly for ending the Teutonic knights government of East Prussia (as advised by Martin Luther) and founding a hereditary dukedom in its place. For that, he was placed under the ban of the empire by Emperor Charles V (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1602: The Dutch East India Company was established. It became one of the world's most powerful companies over its 96-year history.
1616: Sir Walter Raleigh was freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment.
1727: Sir Isaac Newton died at age 84. The English mathematician and physicist was best-known for developing calculus and for his studies of the Creator's laws of physics that governed motion.
1792: The French Legislative Assembly approved the use of the guillotine for executions.
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris after his return from Elba, beginning his "Hundred Days" reign before his defeat at Waterloo in Belgium.
1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, was first published in book form.
1916: In Switzerland, German-born Albert Einstein published his now-famous general theory of relativity.
1918: During the First World War, the U.S. took over Dutch merchant vessels lying in U.S. waters (the U.S. did not enter the war itself until 1917, more than half-way through the war that ran from 1914-1918).
1922: The converted navy coal carrier USS Jupiter was re-commissioned as the USS Langley to become the first U.S. aircraft carrier. Japan launched the first purposely-built aircraft carrier, the Hosyo, that same year. Britain was the first to have an aircraft carrier, the Argus, built during the First World War a few years earlier.
1948: The Soviet Union, in response to the signing of the "Brussels Treaty" 3 days earlier, withdrew from the Allied Control Council, ending all formal four-power control of Germany.
1956: Tunisia became independent from France.
1965: President Lyndon Johnson ordered 4,000 troops in to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.
1974: An attempt was made to kidnap Britain's Princess Anne in The Mall, London.
1985: Canadian paraplegic athlete and humanitarian Rick Hansen began his circumnavigation of the Earth in a wheelchair for spinal cord injury medical research.
1990: Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos's widow, Imelda Marcos, went on trial for bribery, embezzlement, and racketeering.
1996: The British government announced that mad cow disease could probably be transmitted to humans.
2003: The U.S. began the bombing and invasion of Iraq with the stated purpose of seizing Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction." No such weapons were ever found to actually exist.