by 鍾卓權牧師 (Rev. Bernie Chung)
馬太，馬可及路加三本福音書均記載在伯賽大附近的曠野有一天將近傍晚時刻，主耶穌在這一塊野地上餵飽了五千多人，此時，跟隨的人試圖擁戴祂為王，主耶穌知道他們的目的是想脫離當時壓迫他們的羅馬帝國。 但是，群眾並不知道上帝差遣主耶穌降世道成肉身，是藉著祂的生與死來成就拯救世人的計劃，這個救贖計劃與他們所期望的抉然不同。 按照以賽亞書 53:3-5 節所描繪主耶穌的身份是一位受苦的僕人，「他被藐視，被人厭棄，多受痛苦，常經憂患。他被藐視，好像被人掩面不看的一樣，我們也不尊重他。 他誠然擔當我們的憂患，背負我們的痛苦，我們卻以為他受責罰，被神擊打苦待了。 哪知他為我們的過犯受害，為我們的罪孽壓傷。因他受的刑罰我們得平安，因他受的鞭傷我們得醫治。」
主耶穌在世最後一個逾越節之前的星期天，祂實現了撒迦利亞書 9:9 的預言，騎著驢進了耶路撒冷。人群在路上擺滿了棕櫚樹枝，馬太福音 21:9 節說：「前行後隨的眾人喊著說：「和散那」歸於大衛的子孫！奉主名來的是應當稱頌的！高高在上和散那！」，「和散那」原來有「求救」的意思，在此乃是稱頌的話。
這次可以說是主耶穌公開揭曉自己是先知們預言的彌賽亞，第二天，耶穌前往聖殿，馬太福音 21:12-13 節說：「耶穌進了神的殿，趕出殿裡一切做買賣的人，推倒兌換銀錢之人的桌子和賣鴿子之人的凳子， 對他們說：「經上記著說：『我的殿必稱為禱告的殿』，你們倒使它成為賊窩了！」。」這也應驗了以賽亞書 56:7 節所說：「我必領他們到我的聖山，使他們在禱告我的殿中喜樂。他們的燔祭和平安祭在我壇上必蒙悅納，因我的殿必稱為萬民禱告的殿。」
There was a time when it was getting late, the Lord Jesus fed more than 5,000 people in a field in Galilee. Everyone who followed Jesus tried to embrace Him as the king. The Lord Jesus knew that the people’s desire was to break away from the rule of the Roman Empire, and to overthrow this foreign nation that oppressed them at the time. The people didn't know that God sent the Lord Jesus into the flesh so that His life and death could fulfill the plan of salvation. This plan of salvation was completely different from what they had imagined. The Lord Jesus was to be a suffering servant in the identity described in Isaiah 53:3-5: "He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
On the Sunday before the Lord’s last Passover, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 and rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The adoring crowd spread many palm branches on the road. Matthew 21:9 says: "The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” “Hosanna" originally meant "seek help," but here it means “blessing”.
This time it can be said that the Lord Jesus publicly announced that He was the Messiah prophesied by the prophets. The next day, Jesus went to the temple. Matthew 21:12-13 says: "Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” This also fulfills what Isaiah 56:7 says: "..these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
The chief priest and the elders of the community later came and asked Jesus by what authority He did these things. After Judas’ betrayal, our Lord Jesus was arrested and interrogated before the high priest. Under Pontus Pilate, He was nailed to the cross and He died. He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day. On Good Friday, April 2 at 7:30 pm, there will be a Zoom online worship to commemorate our Lord’s death and suffering with scripture reading, hymns, and meditation. May the Holy Spirit prepare our hearts to worship our Lord Jesus and help us hold firm to the assurance of salvation because of His sacrifice. May the Holy Spirit also continue to deepen or rebuild our relationship with our Savior. Amen!