By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer


Every once in awhile a DECISION has to be made which affects the whole course of history:

        -Adam & Eve eating forbidden fruit

        -Moses’ decision to leave Egypt for Israel

        -Columbus’ decision to search for a new world

2,000 yrs ago nation Israel found self at such a turning-  point decision

        -biggest turning point in history since Eden

        -so important recorded in all 4 gospels (very rare!)

                (birth of Jesus only in 2)

My name is JOSES

        I’m from Alexandria, Egypt

        I was able to come to Jerusalem for Passover

                April 3, 33 AD (Friday) that year

Came early to do business

        see relatives haven’t seen lately

        make some business contacts with others who came

        and, quite frankly, very curious about Jesus

                if what others said were true = Messiah!

I was always interested in religious matters

        always looking for spiritual reality

        believed in Judaism with all my heart,

                but something missing

                empty spot in my soul not filled

                hole in my heart outer Judaism didn’t meet

        JESUS met that need completely!!!


I picked the right time to come to Jerusalem

        -the best of times & the worst of times!

I’d like to tell you what happened during those few days:




I guess you know how Jesus’ been preaching for 3+ years

        some believed, followed Him

        majority, esp rel rulers, rejected Him

                worse yet, wanted to have Him killed

                        -jealous of popularity

                        -said critical things of them (pride)

                        -didn’t want to hear @ submit to God

Time for Passover grew nearer and people arrived

        Jeru from 100,000 to 1 million!

                -Jews living outside the land who return


Everyone wondering if Jesus would come

        -all males required to come, Jesus always did

        -orders out that if anyone saw Jesus must report it

                He’d be arrested

I had heard He was in the vicinity – BETHANY

        talk @ bringing someone back to life!

                Then had left the area

        REALLY had everyone talking!

   NOT that many believed or open (like me)

   BUT people bored, looking for excitement

        find something to talk about, distract from dullness




Jesus was certainly the distraction this Passover!






Word filtered around among those who believed that He had         arrived back in Bethany

   I was part of that group  





Saturday evening word spread @ Jesus in Bethany

It seems Lazarus (you know him?)

gave a special dinner for Jesus


When done Mary entered room with men

        poured a fortune’s worth of perfume on Jesus’ feet

        washed and wiped them with her hair

                strange – like getting His body ready for burial

                but, you know, never can tell what woman do!

                Why get Him ready for burial ???


JUDAS spoke up first

        complaining about the waste of money

        soon had other disciples agreeing with him

                -very persuasive, very personable

                leader because excellent person

        said $ should have been given to him (treasurer)

                to give to the poor

JESUS actually defended her!

        Said she was doing the right thing anointing for burial

        Talk about strange – no one seemed to understand it


It gave us something to talk about

        Confirmed that Jesus was nearby

        but would He dare enter Jerusalem?

                That was the biggest topic of debate!





Sunday I joined a steady stream of Jews walking to Bethany

        couldn’t travel that far on Sabbath

We met Lazarus and talked to him

        what a  testimony!  Dead 3 days and alive again!


I then named myself among Jesus followers

   unless something drastic happened to change my mind

        I believed He = Messiah/God

Many other believed because of Lazarus, too

When we got back to Jerusalem heard from servant of high priest that they were planning to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus — to many people turning to Jesus!




CROWDS in Jerusalem wondering:

        “Will Jesus of Nazareth come here to Passover?”

                +always has, wrong to pass up opportunity

                -rel rulers say will kill Him & followers

                    (last time in town tried to stone him)


        -curious, look for entertainment, action

        -seeking, want to know more

        -saved, want to learn/worship

as it turned out in God’s timing it was FINAL EXAM TIME

        for 3+ years Jesus teaching, preaching, now test!

                INDIVIDUALS all made up mind @ Him + –

                NATION as a whole now must decide

                        Jesus force them to decide, commit

        how force them to commit + – ?

                full-life audio visual display



You won’t believe what happened next!

        Here, let me read it to you

written by MATTHEW, who was there, too


Matt 21:1-7    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.


LOCATION: started from Bethany, far side of Mt of Olives

JOHN & PETER get unrid donkey, ride it into town  

DONKEY: Why not walk into town as done dozens of times?

        Fulfill prophecy = Messiah!

     Donkey: peace, meek, gentle

     Horse: warfare, assertive

Jesus = Prince of Peace

        could have asked for span of beautiful horses, chariot

        or have angels carry Him into town

Unridden donkey: how new king entered Jerusalem

        prophesied of Messiah!

                PUBLIC PROCLAMATION Jesus = Messiah

                before: “Don’t tell anyone”

                now: the time has come!

        Revealing Himself as KING


Ps 24:7-10     Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty– he is the King of glory. Selah  


SALESMAN presents product, critical moment is when challenge person to buy or not, force to decide & commit self

        Jesus doing that!



        Daniel 9:24-27 foretold to the day

        fulfilled to the day – “Messiah cut off”



        donkeys, even unridden ones, gentle & easy to ride

        sat astride (not side saddle like feminine pictures)

                Jesus very masculine:

                        carpenter (house builder)

                        walked everywhere      

                        slept on ground most nights

        Jesus riding to victory – our victory (His death)

        people follow, praising & acclaiming Jesus KING

                Peter out in front, day he’s been waiting for!



MARK was there, too

        He describes what happened in his gospel:


Mark 11:7-10  When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”



        thinking, talking, wondering if Jesus is coming

        word gets to Jeru He’s coming with Lazarus

        large group rush out to meet Him on the way 

                courageous move, knowing rel rulers opposed

                thoughts of 1st Passover, deliverance from E –         now think of del from Rome

        both groups meet on far side of Mt of Olives



1. BY COATS: disc put some on donkey for saddle

        custom: costly rugs put out before feet of kings (coats

        children pick them up after donkey passes, run to front, put down again

2. BY BRANCHES:  waved leaves & branches cut from field

3. BY PALMS: cut off nearby trees to wave

        associated with Messiah coming to lead people

                (on a donkey, from Mt of Olives, palm branch)

        palm = symbol of victory

                people want victory over Rome

                     (just like wanted free food earlier)

        Jesus doing just that – sin is enemy (not Rome)

        recognize Jesus as KING


4. BY VOICES – all praising in loud voices

        disciples emotionally HIGH (soon will be depressed)

        “HOSANNA” = “save us now”

        “HALLELUJAH” = “Praise the Lord”

        quote Psalm 118:25-26 – sung about Messiah

                PASSOVER: 1st coming (cross)

                TABERNACLES: 2nd coming (crown)

Jesus presenting self at Passover to be lamb slain for sin

People forget its Passover, act like Tabernacles

        want Messiah to rule, defeat Rome

        error: missed 1st coming

JOHN was right there with Jesus the whole time

        this is the way he described it:


MAJORITY in group patriotic, excitable Jews

        -or wouldn’t have impulsively come out of Jeru

MINORITY true believers, but wrongly influenced by maj

        DISCIPLES caught up in it all

        MARY perhaps only one who knew it was different

        JUDAS – what was he thinking?

             Overlook hatred of Jesus to have power?

             Regretting deal with rel rulers to turn Jesus in?

Naturally something like this wouldn’t happen without rel rulers knowing and being involved  – they were right there, too


MARY was near where they were and heard it all

        she later told Luke, who wrote it down


RELIGIOUS RULERS  came out as group, following others

        now catch up to main body just on other side of hill

        couldn’t arrest Jesus in that crowd of supporters!

        KNEW He was proclaiming self Messiah

        spiritually blind – miss real significance

                MILDER group – wait-and-see policy

                RADICAL group – delay no good, attack ASAP

    “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”

        Tell them they’re wrong

        Say this Messiah thing is a mistake


JESUS:  “I tell you, if these become quiet, the stones will cry out.”

        Agreed with what was happening

        Personally planned this mass demonstration

        Knows this public display will force rel rul to act

        Voluntarily coming to town to turn self in

                for sins of the world



        as head over top of Mt of Olives and see Jerusalem 

        CRIED loud, long, uncontrolled sobbing


        Jews wanted peace, but rejected Prince of Peace

        only war & destruction coming to Jerusalem

        Jesus looking ahead to AD 70

                NOW Jeru looked beautiful, peaceful

                SOON destroyed — Jesus saw that

        Crying for Jews/Jerusalem, not for self!

                (Cry about that later in Gethsemaene)

PEOPLE high, shouting @ Messiah & kingdom, excited

JESUS should have been happiest day, but crying out loud!

        Not TRIUMPHAL entry

        But TEARFUL entry

                anointed for burial by Mary

                going to death in Jerusalem

     quenched enthusiasm of followers

     showed He wasn’t going to be the Messiah-King

     confused them about why He was on donkey

        many slipped away from group so not caught

        Jesus continued into temple, forcing final decision




Just like that it was over!

        It seemed it had hardly started and it was over!

   And what a strange ending!

It was like there was some unspoken agreement among everyone to act like nothing happened!

    Just go back to business as usual & forget whole thing

Pretend like Someone didn’t just proclaim Himself Messiah

        after 3 years of teaching and miracles!!!!!



LARGE CROWD in temple when heard Jesus coming

        curious, interested, nosy

        NOT accept Him as Messiah-King

        “Who is this?”  – who does He think He is?

        “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” – man, not Messiah-King



   People entering town with Jesus: snuck off – NO

   People waiting in temple “Who?” – NO

   Religious rulers – NO

REJECTED: very day Daniel said He’d be rejected

        Mar 30, 33 AD



(at this very time, a few feet away, priests selecting & setting apart Passover Lamb doomed to die for nation at 3 PM, Friday, Apr. 3, AD 33 – same moment Jesus died)



JESUS NOT SURPRISED:  knew this coming

        continued to heal, teach, etc –

   NATION voted NO, too late for nation Israel

   INDIVIDUALS could still vote YES for own souls



JESUS LEAVES at end of day  

   like SHEKINAH glory leaving temple same way/reason

   back to Bethany, retrace steps over tearful entry

        palm branches, etc., lying in moonlight

Nobody said much — what was there to say?

        Were we wrong abut Him being the Messiah?

        Certainly HE thought He was

        But it didn’t look like the nation was buying that

                in fact it didn’t look good for Him,

                what with a price tag on His head and all ..

Maybe that lady who started getting Him ready for burial wasn’t as far off as we first thought!



Oh, well — tomorrow was another day

        we’d see what developed then …

     would He leave the area or return?





Day got even stranger!

I was hanging around the temple – only place in town to go!

        News, teaching, business, etc all there


All of us from out of town went there, see what could buy

        like having a shopping mall in church balcony!



Heard this big commotion and we went to see

        someone chasing all money-changers out!

        -Illegal, cheats, no one liked them, stuck with them

        -this was their busiest time of the year!

    turns out it was JESUS doing it!

        Someone told me He had done this before, too!

He was definitely not becoming any more popular!

        Certainly no way to make friends & influence people!



It was as if this brought up some strong emotions in Him

        We could tell He was upset!

If BEFORE was turning point for nation

Then THIS was a turning point for Him!


“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father, glorify your name!”


You’ll never believe what happened next!

        A voice from heaven said:

“I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”


Then Jesus said He was going to be “lifted up”

        which everyone knew meant CRUCIFIED

     But we knew that that couldn’t possibly happen!




FOLLOW JESUS – had been saying this all along!


Matt 16:24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  



It really gave us something to think about!

        I wanted to follow Him

        But so many strange things were happening

                -claiming to be Messiah, then dropping it

                -crying over the city

                -cursing a fig tree

                -picking this time to clean out the temple!

                -telling everyone He’s to be crucified

                        but He still wants us to follow Him!     



Anyway, at the end of the day He went back to Bethany

        we were more confused than ever!



This turned out to be a very big, active day!





We saw Jesus and disciples enter temple

        start preaching & teaching

        before got far interrupted by rel rulers

                out in force, like they had a plan

They challenged His authority to teach Jews

        Said it came from God

He challenged them to repent

        told parables showing their need to repent

                judgment if they didn’t


What a conversation!

        REL RULERS attacked Him

        HE parried their thrusts, disarmed them

        HE went on offensive, tore them to threads!

Took most of the morning, just went on and on and on!



Everyone drained, scattered – hungry, chores to do, etc

From there Jesus slipped into Court of the Women

                I followed along, too enthralled in all to leave

        stood there watching people come & go

                some gave tithes & offerings –  showy way

        one poor woman gave 1/2 penny (lowest allowed)

Jesus pointed her out, impressed

        NOT by what she gave – everything

        BUT by what she kept – nothing!

    Motive of love behind it

        really refreshing to Jesus after morning’s activities

                good to see some NOT hypocrites!



Then Jesus left the temple, went toward MT OF OLIVES

Jesus pointed at Herod’s massive stones (tons, 20’ long)

   “Not one stone here will be left on another, every one will be thrown down.”

Proceeded to MT OF OLIVES, sat in cool Gethsemane

        -where rich had gardens to escape heat of city

        -friend had given us his key to use when needed

Disciples had been wondering about words @ stones     overthrown – that would mean end of nation Israel!

     Finally got up courage to ask Him WHEN it would be

        and HOW THEY WOULD KNOW when it would be

Now usually Jesus just gave short answers

        all we could grasp and remember anyway

This time went into very long dissertation, almost an hour

        -SIGNS of what would be going on when He returned

        -IMPORTANCE of being ready!

                Seems each person in future would have to

                make own decision, too @ follow Jesus or not

        you should read it some time

                MATTHEW summarized it all in chapters 24-25



what a morning! – day only half over!

        What more would happen that day?





Back to the temple to teach & preach

        this time rel rulers left Him alone

     nothing they could do

        – always lost ground when challenged Him




Told us again He was going to be crucified at the Passover

        but that couldn’t be – that was just 2 days away

        and besides only Romans crucified (Jews stoned)

                why would Romans wan to crucify Him?

                It just didn’t make any sense…



Rumors spread that rel rulers not present because meeting

All agreed Jesus must be put out of circulation

        What He said was too damaging to their power

but would have to wait until after Passover

        easier to do when just locals around

                locals under their thumb much better!



When I put all the pieces together afterwards

I realized it must have been right about this time that Judas

   made His offer to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver

WHY?     No one still knows for sure

        -perhaps Jesus’ taking Mary’s side after anointing Him embarrassed him, hit his pride

        -then, too, all this talk about Jesus dying and no kingdom hard to take if you gave up

everything to follow Jesus

                        -now nothing to show for it

                        -30 pieces of silver was something (ironically the price of a slave)

But that changed everything

        because not Judas was calling the shots

        HE’D be the one to pick the best time to do it!



That night I didn’t sleep very well

        this was more than I had bargained for!

        I just wanted a simple, strong Messiah

                things were definitely too confusing

It must have been even harder on Jesus, though

        I heard He was staying in Gethsemane these nights  

                not going back to Bethany any more

     -Did He want to spare His friends from retribution?

     -Did He want to be closer to Jerusalem, shorter trip?

     -Did He need privacy, time alone to pray & think?







Just by walking around town and the temple Thursday it was   

   obvious public opinion was not for Jesus

        they liked what He said/did to rel rulers

        but demanded too much of them-give up everything to put Him first!

   Military Messiah to drive out Rome = accepted in a minute

   Suffering Servant (Isaiah) = didn’t fit into their plans

        still, we remembered other prophecies from Isaiah

         @ how Messiah would be rejected by the people



Still Jesus preached & taught, calling for commitment

        maybe one or two undecided or swaying

probably many like me, wanted to believe but not easy!




Things settled down all over town – Passover near

        THAT was why we were there

        took precedent over all gossip & intrigue!

        HIGHLIGHT of the year (NY, Christmas, Thanks, etc)

US FROM GALILEE – Passover that night

REST OF THE PEOPLE – Passover tomorrow night

Disciples got ready to have Passover with Jesus that night

I went to my relatives, where staying, start cleaning prep.

     I’d have to check in a day or two to see what happened

        Probably nothing, I didn’t think I’d miss anything

        Everyone, even rel rulers, busy with Passover

        ‘Truce’ to all this, pick it up later

                A shame, I’d have to leave in a couple days

                Might not ever find out how it turned out!


I put it out of my mind as I rejoined my relatives

        still, all that about Him claiming to be Messiah KING

        couldn’t stop thinking about that


CONCLUSION  (just read verses in closing, then pray)  king to me, king to you, too???


Matt 2:2 The Magi asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  


John 1:49  Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”   


Matt 21:5  “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.'”  


John 12:13  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!”  


Matt 27:11  Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.  


Matt 27:29  They twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.  


1 Tim 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.  


Zech 14:9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.  


Rev 15:3  They sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.  


Rev 17:14  They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings– and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”  


Rev 19:16  On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.





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