Christ’s triumphal entry, traditionally celebrated on Palm Sunday, should give us all pause to reflect on Jesus arriving in Jerusalem riding on a donkey while the crowds gathered around waving and throwing palm branches on the path before him yelling “Hosanna in The Highest”, which in 30 A.D. would have been the honoring way to give a King his proper recognition and praise.
The kind of exuberant praise that Jesus will forever be worthy of.
What some may or may not know is that precisely 490 years earlier during Israel’s captivity by Babylon, The Jewish Prophet Daniel was visited by The Angel Gabriel and was given a vision of this “The Anointed King.”
The One whose death he was told would confirm a New Covenant putting an end to sin, the law, the temple, merciless judgement, oppressive tithing, and animal sacrifice and would would instead usher in God’s forgiveness, atonement and everlasting righteousness (See Daniel Chapter 9:24-27).
Christ revealed himself as that Anointed King the day he arrived in Jerusalem on that donkey in 30 A.D. and He confirmed that New Covenant exactly 490 years after Daniel prophesied he would at The Last Super just before being arrested, tried and sentenced to death on a cross.
In doing so, he confirmed and initiated this New Covenant that was going to soon be making the Old Covenant obsolete. (See Hebrews 8:13)
Just as Joseph had the dream about his jealous brothers bowing before him in reverence 14 years before he saw this dream come to pass or just as a young David, tending sheep out in his Father’s fields was anointed to be The King of Israel by The Prophet Samuel 15 years before he actually received the crown…
Just as these things (far or near) were prophesied and came to be…
When exactly did the prophesied stripping of priestly garments (if you will) from The Levitical Priesthood and the giving of The Priesthood to the 1st century followers of Christ born of the line of Judah actually happen?
I personally believe All Authority in Heaven and on Earth was already given to Jesus before He ever even graced the Earth and that the declaration and demonstration of His Heavenly Power, Wisdom, Love, Kingship and Kingdom began it’s trajectory in Heaven with God and has since been quite effectively, one generation at a time, transforming the whole planet for The Good of God.
From the 1st time we can find Christ being prophesied in The Old Testament scriptures to the day He was sent by The Father to be conceived of The Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary and was born of The Spirit into the flesh of a man and lived the life of power and truth that he lived, and died the brutal death that he died at the hands of such jealous and wicked driven men, and to have entered the depths of hades to lead captives out and to have received the miraculous raising from the grave that he had received by the redeeming hand and love of His Father, in order to set people there and as well here all free.
I believe it was after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ Our King and his victory over death and his rising again to Reign as King of Heaven and Earth, over all The Living and The Dead, just before his own return and ascension to The Father (See Acts 1:1-10) when Our Risen Jesus met again with the disciples and he “breathed on them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” that the The Real Colonization of Earth by The Kingdom of Heaven began.
The Day The Empowered Church of Christ was Born!
… and likewise thereafter with every recorded time that the scriptures bear witness of others, Jews and Gentiles all the same, receiving The Holy Spirit.
From The Day of Pentecost (See Acts Chapter 2) to Peter in Caesarea at Cornelius’s House or Paul out in Antioch with Barnabas or in Ephesus with Luke.
As I see receiving The Holy Spirit as that crucial entrance point into The Kingdom of God and The New Life in Christ (Christ in Us) that God has for us being The Way that we all must pass through to truly be born again and to know The Father and The Son and The Power and Good pleasure of God to give us The Kingdom, I do believe as well that the actual stripping of the Priesthood from The Levites and the giving of that Priesthood to anyone (whosoever) who would believe in their hearts that Jesus had lived, and that he had died and that he has been risen again so that we all may live with him confessing Jesus Christ as Our Lord… I believe the real inauguration of The Kingdom Come not only came with The Baptism of Fire but eventually came to a head when Rome under The Reign of Vespasian came into Jerusalem in 70 A.D. to slaughter the levitical priesthood, just as the levites had slaughtered their own brothers and sisters at Mt. Sinai the day Moses brought the law.
When Moses came down Mt. Sinai with The Old Covenant, The Levites were commanded to kill 3000 of their brothers and sisters for breaking the law.
When Jesus, the mediator of a better covenant, poured out His Spirit on the believers in Jerusalem 3000 got baptized and received The Holy Spirit.
When The Armies of Rome in 70 A.D came in and destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem this all resulted in the 1st century followers of Christ being spared and saved that great destruction that came down on the heads of The Levites (See Matthew 23:33-36) because the Christians had all taken Christ’s prophecy and The Teachings of The Apostles very seriously and knew to flee the city when they saw The Armies of Rome surrounding it.
When they saw “The Abomination of Desolation” spoken of by Daniel in Chapter 9:27 and that is later revealed to us in Luke 21:20-21 as being the The Armies of Rome, the Christians were instructed very clearly to leave Jerusalem and flee to the mountains of Judea, just like David had fled from King Saul a thousand years earlier into The Hills of Moab…
You see, just as The Kingdom was stripped from Saul and given to David, I believe it was here in 70 A.D. that the 1st century Church of Christ, from this vantage point of a mountainside, looking down on their obstinate brothers and sisters being slain and judged without mercy by Rome (having it done unto them just as they had done unto others) and seeing their Holy City engulfed in flames would have now been experiencing that bittersweet freeing from their oppressors that they had been praying for for so long. Their freeing from those Levitical Teachers of The Law.
Deliverance at this point, from the horrible persecution and oppression they all were crying out to God for and whom The Ascended Christ had responded very clearly in 68 A.D. to The Apostle John in a vision by saying “Yes, I am Coming Soon.” (See Revelation 22:20)
It was less than 2 years later in 70 A.D. that The Coming of The Lord came and set them all free from that heavy yoke of oppression that The Levitical Priesthood had on their necks and backs and this must have been a moment recognized by them all as they watched from the The Mountains The Tribe of Levi (who had rejected and crucified Jesus The Messiah) now being trampled under The Boots of Rome in the rubble and aftermath of what was previously their own city and towering temple.
I’d imagine from that view they would have all experienced for the first time that uncontended transferring of priesthood and power unto themselves who had fled Jerusalem up into the safety of those mountains.
God always spares a remnant of those whose hearts are right before him, and these Christians hiding in caves out in the mountains were now clearly going to be inheriting The Kingdom and be the new carrier’s of God’s torch.
This would have clearly been the fulfilment of The Prophecy of Christ found in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21 and the continuation of The Everlasting Promise of God to give freely to those of us who have asked, and have put all our Faith in Jesus, The Holy Spirit which is The Eternal King’s Signet Ring Stamp and Seal of Redemption and Approval of us who believe and have said “Yes” to Jesus (See Ephesians 4:30 and Haggai 2:3).
He, who was, who is and is to come…
After being risen from the dead Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” ~ John 20:21-23
Notice that from this time on in history, from the time that Jesus breathed on them and said “Receive The Holy Spirit” and gave them the power to remit people their sins the 1st century Church of Christ weren’t any longer being advised or taught by The Apostles to go to The Levitical Priesthood for any absolution or ritualistic cleansing from their sins. Rather, from this time on they were all now being taught to love and to forgive one another and to confess their sins to each other and to God (See James 5:16 or 1st John 1:9).
If you had an issue with someone in The Church of Jesus you were to go to that someone, just as Jesus had taught them to do (See Matthew 18:15). This only further validated and affirms this priestly transferring of power that was being taken from The Synagogues of their day and being given to the underground, gathering and growing House Churches of Christ.
They were learning to be held accountable to one another and to be honest to each other and to forgive one another and to be forgiven by each other when one had trespassed against another and this new way was destined to be proven a much greater and more transformative way than the old way of just going and telling our misdeeds we had done to someone… to someone else.
By learning to be honest with each other, and to forgive each other they were having their own conscience Holy Spirit cleansed and by learning to be true to each other, they were learning The True Way of God’s Love. The Way of Love. The Two Way Path of people recieving relationally one from another. The Way that Christ Our King Paved with his life from Heaven to Earth through His own Birth, Death and Resurrection, making The Way back home to God Our Father a bit more clear for us all.
~ Stay in Love, Pastor Scott Boggs of thepotterschurch.com