TH E K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S
The Mos t Momen tous Day in Human H i s to ry By LOUIS S. BAUMAN*
T T TlTHOUT the slightest hesita- : A / V / tion we affirm that Palm Sun- V V day, A. D. 30, was the most momentous day in human history. All Of the rivers of blood that have run down through the last nineteen centu ries are due to Israel’s failure in that tragic hour! Early that day, the Lord Jesus Christ, "because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear” (Lk. 19:11), spoke to His disciples of a “cer tain nobleman [who] went into a far country to receive for himself a king dom, and to return . . . But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” Just a few hours later, Pilate “sat down in the judgment seat in . . . Gab- batha” (John 19:13), and, surveying the veiled Lord of Glory, majestic even in chains, called to the Jews: “Behold your King!” But they cried out: “Away with him, away with him .* . . we have no king but- Caesar.” On that momentous day, Palm Sunday, the kingdom of heaven was offered to men: “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass” (Matt. 21:5). And then began our Lord’s triumphal march. As the King of Kings rode down old Olivet’s brow that day, the multi tude cried: “Hosanna to the Son of Da vid: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the high est.” To its last jot and tittle, the King of Israel fulfilled that day the prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upbn an ass” (Zech. 9:9).
in the beginning, seen Israel receiving the King, prophecy would have been a different story; and God in some way would have provided, as in the case of Isaac, a lamb for an offering (Gen. 22 : 8 ). As our Lord rode down thq Mount of Olives, “the whole multitude of the dis ciples began to rejoice and praise God . . . Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Lk. 19:37, 38). Verily, a prophetic ut terance! When Jesus was bom in Beth lehem, the angels spoke of “peace on earth.” When men rejected "peace on earth,” then the multitude, unquestion ably by inspiration, sang of “peace in heaven” ! For God knew, if man did not, that in the few hours .that followed that descent from the mountain, the blood would be shed whereby God would be reconciled to men and there would be, at least, “peace in heaven” ! The Kingdom Postponed With the rejection on that momentous day of “peace on earth,” the kingdom of heaven upon earth was postponed; and Israel was doomed to trek on for at least nineteen hundred years over bloody pathways, splashing the wailing wall with her bitter tears, while calling, call ing, calling for the Messiah, the Saviour who, to Israel, never seemed to come. The postponement of the kingdom of God on that day is not a theory; it is an established fact. Zechariah 9:9 was fulfilled to its last jot on Palm Sunday, A. D. 30. That is the assurance that verse 10 likewise must be fulfilled. “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10: 35). Suddenly pausing on His way down the side of old Olivet, our Lord “beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thpu hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes” (Lk. 19:42).
Israel’s Supreme Opportunity Had official Israel that day not blinded their eyes, the rest of the great prophecy would have been fulfilled com pletely: “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off; and he shall speak peace unto the nations: and his. dominion shall be from sea to sea” (v. 10, R.V.). Into the realm of that peace, no wars ever could have come! We must insist that the offer of the kingdom to Israel on that day was bona fide; and had Is rael received her King, He would have mounted the throne of David and spo ken peace to the nations. Had God,
* Pastor, First Brethren Church, Long Beach, Calif.
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