ODJ: according to plan

April 14, 2014 

READ: John 12:12-16 

The LORD frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken (Psalm 33:10-11).

It was the week of the Passover celebration. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish pilgrims came to the temple to commemorate their deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-28). On the Sunday preceding the Passover, Jesus had allowed the people to honour Him as king as He entered Jerusalem—something He hadn’t allowed them to do earlier (John 12:12-16).

Over the past 3 years Jesus had deliberately kept a low profile (John 6:15, 7:10, 11:54). But now, just 5 days before His death, Jesus intentionally drew attention to Himself. This was the only time He had permitted a public demonstration on His behalf and He did so for two reasons:

• John says that Jesus did so to fulfil a 500 year old prophecy that God’s chosen King would enter Jerusalem “riding on a donkey’s colt” (Zechariah 9:9). This was a truly unusual way for a triumphant king to enter a city. Jesus wasn’t riding a war horse. He came in peace and for peace, demonstrating meekness and lowliness and establishing peace between God and us (v.10; Acts 10:36; Colossians 1:20-21).

• Jesus also did so to force the Jewish authorities to take action. The religious leaders had already decided that Jesus needed to die (John 11:47-53). Fearing that the people might riot, they decided “to capture Jesus secretly and kill him,” but only after the Passover celebration (Matthew 26:3-5). God, however, had already ordained that His Son be slain on the day of Passover (v.2).

Overturning man’s scheming and orchestrating the events according to His own decree and timetable (Luke 22:22), God made sure that Jesus died at the same time the evening sacrifice was offered (Exodus 29:38-45; Mark 15:34-42).

—K.T. Sim

1 Kings 3:16-28 ‹365-day plan

Read Psalm 2:1-12 to see God’s sovereignty over all mankind. 
How have you seen evidence of God’s timing in your life? How has His sovereignty been demonstrated?