Episode 4: Toward the Gihon Spring – The Coronation (Along the Road)


WHEN I’M HERE ON
THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, AND I ENTER THIS
PLACE WITH JESUS, EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT,
RIGHT, THAN IT WAS ALL OF THE OTHER TIMES
THAT HE ENTERED JERUSALEM. DO YOU HAVE ANY
SENSE OF WHY PEOPLE WERE SO
EXCITED THIS TIME, WHEN THEY WEREN’T THE DOZEN PLUS
OTHER TIMES JESUS CAME HERE? WE’VE WALKED FOR DAYS
WITH JESUS IN GALILEE, BUT IN THE END WE KNEW THAT
THE ROADS WOULD LEAD HERE. WE’RE IN THE CITY OF JERUSALEM. JESUS HAD ENTERED
JERUSALEM MANY, MANY TIMES BEFORE PALM SUNDAY, BUT
THERE WAS NEVER AN ARRIVAL LIKE THE ARRIVAL
WE SEE ON PALM SUNDAY, OR AS YOU MAY KNOW IT,
THE SUNDAY OF TRIUMPHAL ENTRY. THERE’S ACTUALLY
GEOGRAPHICAL BACKSTORY. LIKE MOST OTHER JEWISH
PILGRIMS FROM THE NORTH, JESUS WOULD HAVE ARRIVED
IN JERUSALEM BY USING THE RIDGE ROUTE, THEREFORE ENTERED THE CITY FROM THE NORTH. BUT ON THIS TRIP TO JERUSALEM, HE WENT OUT TO THE EAST SIDE OF THE COUNTRY
TO THE JORDAN RIVER, AND ACTUALLY CAME
THROUGH JERICHO, THROUGH THE WILDERNESS,
AND ARRIVED AT BETHANY. BY DOING THAT HE WAS
ENACTING THE LANGUAGE OF ISAIAH 40, VERSES 1-5: “YOU’LL KNOW YOU’VE MET “THE MESSIAH WHEN YOU’VE
MET SOMEONE WHO COMES “INTO THE JERUSALEM AREA
THROUGH THE JUDEAN WILDERNESS.” HE DOES SOMETHING
REALLY UNUSUAL. HE GETS ON THE DONKEY, NOT
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL AT BETHANY WHERE I WOULD,
BUT AT THE TOP OF THE HILL, AND THEN RIDES A DONKEY DOWN
THE RIDGE INTO JERUSALEM. WHY WOULD HE DO THAT? WELL, IT HAS TO DO WITH
WHAT BETHPHAGE IS. BETHPHAGE IS THE EASTERN
CITY LIMITS FOR JERUSALEM, AND BY RIDING THE
DONKEY INTO BETHPHAGE, HE IS RIDING THE
DONKEY INTO JERUSALEM IN FULFILLMENT OF ZECHARIAH 9:9. WHEN THE PASSOVER
PILGRIMS PUT TOGETHER ALL OF THOSE MOUNT OF
OLIVES STORIES, THEY GOT IT. THE MESSIAH HAD
COME TO JERUSALEM. THE PALM SUNDAY CROWD THAT
WELCOMED JESUS TO JERUSALEM USED A VARIETY OF PHRASES.
THE GOSPEL WRITERS GIVE US A SAMPLE OF WHAT
WE WOULD HAVE HEARD: “HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID.” “BLESSED IS THE COMING KINGDOM OF OUR FATHER DAVID.” “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.” THEY WEREN’T USING
THE SAME WORDS, BUT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR
THE SAME THING: CORONATION. BOY: HELLO.
JACK: HELLO. BOY: WHAT’S YOUR NAME? JACK: MY NAME’S JACK.
WHAT’S YOUR NAME? BOY: I’M ADAM.
WHAT YOU WANT TO DO? JACK: ADAM, I WANT TO
GO TO THE GIHON SPRING. DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE GIHON
SPRING IS? WILL YOU SHOW ME? UH, I’LL FOLLOW YOU. BOYS: COME, COME. COME, COME. JACK: SHOULD WE GO LOOK? SHOW
ME. SHOW ME WHAT YOU FOUND. AH YES, THERE IT IS. THERE IT IS.
WATER – “MAYIM.” I’M WALKING SOUTH IN
THE KIDRON VALLEY. JERUSALEM’S OLD CITY IS
ABOVE ME AND TO THE RIGHT, AND BEHIND ME IS THE RIDGE
DOWN WHICH JESUS RODE WHEN HE RODE THE DONKEY INTO
JERUSALEM ON PALM SUNDAY. HE WAS HEADING TOWARDS THE SAME
ROUTE THAT I’M WALKING NOW. I’VE COME HERE TO THINK ABOUT
AN OLD TESTAMENT STORY THAT’S ASSOCIATED
WITH THIS VALLEY IN THE TIME OF
DAVID AND SOLOMON. AT THE CLOSE OF DAVID’S LIFE, HIS MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
WERE DETERIORATING QUITE BADLY, AND HIS ADVISORS WERE
GETTING CONCERNED ABOUT IT. ADONIJAH, HIS OLDEST SON,
DECIDED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION,
AND HE SAID, “I’M GONNA USE “THIS OPPORTUNITY TO
BECOME KING MYSELF.” NOW, HE KNEW THAT DAVID
HAD ALREADY APPOINTED SOLOMON AS HIS SUCCESSOR,
BUT ADONIJAH WAS INSISTENT THAT HE GET THAT JOB
INSTEAD OF HIS BROTHER. AND SO HE GOT TOGETHER WITH
SOME OF DAVID’S ADVISERS, AND ARRANGED TO
BE CROWNED KING DOWN HERE IN
THE KIDRON VALLEY IN A PLACE CALLED
THE EN ROGEL SPRING. WHEN WORD GOT BACK TO DAVID
ABOUT THIS, HE WAS NOT HAPPY, AND HE IMMEDIATELY
WENT INTO ACTION. HE CALLED FOR SOLOMON, AND HE
CALLED FOR HIS FAVORITE MULE. HE THEN DIRECTED HIS
OTHER ASSISTANTS TO PUT SOLOMON
ON THAT ANIMAL, TO HAVE HIM LED DOWN
THE CITY OF DAVID RIDGE TO ANOTHER SPRING HERE
CALLED THE GIHON SPRING. AND IT’S AT THAT SPRING
THAT SOLOMON WAS CROWNED
KING OF ISRAEL. WHY THE PEOPLE OVER
A THOUSAND YEARS LATER WERE USING CORONATION LANGUAGE
AT THE TIME THAT JESUS WAS RIDING DOWN THE RIDGE OF THE
MOUNT OF OLIVES ON PALM SUNDAY. THE PEOPLE WERE SEEING
JESUS DOING SOMETHING THEY HAD SEEN BEFORE
IN THIS PLACE. SOLOMON’S FATHER HAD PUT
HIS OWN SON ON A MULE, AND SENT HIM DOWN TO
THE GIHON SPRING TO BE CROWNED
KING OF ISRAEL. THE FATHER HAD PROVIDED
A DONKEY FOR HIS SON, AND HIS SON WAS NOW RIDING
DOWN THE MOUNT OF OLIVES WHAT APPEARED TO BE IN THE
DIRECTION OF THE GIHON SPRING. THE SYMMETRY BETWEEN
THOSE TWO THINGS CAUGHT THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE,
AND ALTHOUGH THESE TWO EVENTS LIVE MORE THAN A THOUSAND
YEARS APART IN TIME AND HUNDREDS OF PAGES
APART IN OUR BIBLE, THE LAND BRINGS THESE
TWO STORIES TOGETHER. THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT. JESUS COULD HAVE SIMPLY SAID, “I AM THE KING, THE SON OF
DAVID WHO WILL BE THE MESSIAH.” THERE’S GREAT POWER IN THAT.
BUT I THINK IT’S EVEN MORE POWERFUL WHEN JESUS
ENACTS AN EVENT THAT LEADS OTHERS TO
DRAW THAT CONCLUSION. “HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID.” “BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.” “HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST.” THIS IS CORONATION LANGUAGE.
AND IT’S CORONATION LANGUAGE THAT’S INSPIRED BY WHAT
HAPPENED IN THIS VALLEY BEFORE. I FIND THE PICTURE
OF JESUS AS MY KING TO BE A VERY POWERFUL
AND A VERY ATTRACTIVE ONE. BECAUSE JESUS PROMISES
TO DO IN MY LIFE WHAT THE ANCIENT KINGS DID IN
THE LIVES OF THEIR SUBJECTS. HE IS THERE TO PROTECT ME, AND HE’S THERE TO GIVE MY
LIFE MEANINGFUL DIRECTION.

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