Who Is This?

Matthew 21:10  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 7
It is Jesus entering Jerusalem shortly before His crucifixion. It is the Day-spring from on high; the very Sunrising of heaven; the glorious Son of the Father who has visited us in wondrous grace, garbed in the servant's form, meek and lowly. One whose presence tells out the mighty love of God to this sin-polluted world! He is 'unknown by the people, so that the question has to be asked, " Who is this?" God was unmistakably displayed in His every action down here. He revealed the Father; and made God known as He had never been known before. Up to this time man's little knowledge of God had been that He was a great and awful being, only to be approached at a distance; dwelling in clouds and thick darkness; and to be worshipped "afar off." One who, at the same time, was demanding from man a righteousness which he never could procure.
Thus the popular thoughts of God then, were much the same as they are now; amongst those who know not Jesus. People now, as then, look upon God as a hard and angry Judge; reaping where He had not sown, and gathering where He had not strawed. All this time little knowing the grace that is in God's heart toward them; how that He commends His love to sinners, bad people, even the rebellious. He is not now willing the death of the sinner, but desiring his salvation; wanting to have such saved from hell, to be happy with Himself forever; and He has for this object given up His own Son to die. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)).
Do you believe this astounding fact, that the Son of God has visited this world? He came uninvited. Nobody prayed God. to send Him down from heaven. It was His own thought-the spontaneous acting of His heart of love towards sinners-God chose to send Jesus. He passed as a stranger in this ungenial world of hatred, finding not so much as where to lay His head. At His birth the manger was the only place to be had for the holy child Jesus. Such was His reception,-there was no place for Him in the Inn of this world; it was already crowded with the sanctimonious Pharisee, the fashionable Herodian, and the infidel Sadducee. The one had his long robes actually decorated with Scriptures of the Old Testament about Christ, and yet, blinded- by his very religion, when Christ did present Himself, he would none of Him. With all his professed reverence for God, devotionalism in praying at the corners of the streets, and ostentatious benevolence in giving alms with the sounding of a trumpet before him, yet when God's Son is born into this world, such is His reception from the religious people, they would rather have their religion than Jesus. And as for the fashionable world, they are as well satisfied with their gaieties and pleasures, as the religionist is with his unreal worship; for the stranger babe, born in Bethlehem, to enter their inn, was to burst rudely in upon all their ways; as well as upon the grosser evils of the publicans and sinners. He was uninvited; a stranger in a strange land, an unbidden and unwelcome guest.
This was the manner in which He was received at His birth; and things only grew worse afterward, for "they bated him without a cause." From a manger at the commencement, He went to the cross at his death, and the whole scene was wound up in a borrowed grave! This was the world's treatment of the Son of God! And that too at a time and by a people who professed to have a zeal for God and to worship Him. Are the people of the present day one bit altered? They know not God now, even as they did not then. If you knew God you would know Jesus' for He is the Son of God; and knowing that the Father sent Him is eternal life! Then there would be no need for the question "Who is this?"
But with all this talk about knowing God, what is the way to know Him? It is to believe on His Son Jesus Christ. He has revealed God. He came to this world with the express purpose of making God known. The reality of His having been in this world is an astonishing fact, and surely ought to make a serious man consider that if God were indeed against him, or seeking his destruction, He never would have sent His Son to die for sinners. For though in every act of the Lord Jesus we see the same blessed truth that God is for us and not against us (as Satan is always deluding souls to believe), yet above all we learn it at the cross. There He who knew no sin, this blessed One from heaven, was " made sin," and "numbered with the transgressors" (Isa. 53:1212Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)); there He " bore the sins of many." He died " the just for the unjust," to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:1818For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1 Peter 3:18)), in order that all this blessing of salvation, eternal life, and forgiveness of sins might be ours-that God might be manifested as "for us," He must be against sin when His own Son made Himself chargeable for all that we were, and all that we had done. He was therefore "bruised for our iniquities." "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him: He hath put Him to grief" (Isa. 53:5-105But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. (Isaiah 53:5‑10)). Why was this? Because we deserved to bear the judgment of our sins-and He offered Himself and bore it, that God might be free to deliver us out of it. God now can righteously let His love flow out to all poor sinners; commending His love so fully to them that they may stand before Him perfectly righteous; or, as the Scriptures declare, "all who believe are justified from all things" (Acts 13:3939And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:39)).
"Ye know that He (the Son of God) was manifested to 'take away our sins" (1 John 3:55And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (1 John 3:5))-believing this you are ' saved! How then do we know that God has accepted His work, and that it has really satisfied Him? We know it, in that He hath raised Him from the dead, and exalted Him to His own right hand in heaven. So that not all the power of hell can alter or shake our salvation in Christ; it depends on nothing in oneself, or of ourselves, but simply on Him; and He who put us in it, keeps us in it to the end.
But howsoever full and free are these glad tidings of God's love to sinners, the time is fast drawing on when this One of whom the multitude once spake saying, " Who is this I" will be seen to have exchanged the meek and lowly form for that of the kingly and judicial; and then again it shall be said, " Who is this?" (Isa. 63:11Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. (Isaiah 63:1).) His garments shall be dyed red with the blood of the slain, for He will tread in His anger the unbelievers, His rejecters, and trample them in His fury (Isa. 63:33I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. (Isaiah 63:3)). As to preach the "acceptable year of the Lord" is now His mission, so then will He say, " the day of vengeance is in Mine heart" (v. 4). " See then that ye refuse not Him that speaketh," but heed the warning voice, for "now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:22(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Corinthians 6:2)).
Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgment), but is passed from death unto life " (John 5:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)). " In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:9,109In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9‑10)). He was manifested that we might have both life and forgiveness of sins!-H. W. T.