“Thus says the LORD God: The gate of the inner court that faces east shall be shut on the six working days, but on the Sabbath day it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened. The prince shall enter by the vestibule of the gate from outside, and shall take his stand by the post of the gate. The priests shall offer his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening.” (46:1-2)
If all this talk about the east gate sounds familiar, it should, we read about it yesterday:
“Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east. And it was shut. And the LORD said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut.” (44:1-2)
Coming and going from the east is for the Prince and the LORD.
To the east of Jerusalem is the Kidron valley (or the valley of the shadow of death), and beyond that, the Mount of Olives.
As mentioned above, the glory of the LORD went east when it departed the temple (10:19; 11:23).
Going back a couple hundred years, Solomon was hailed King of Israel as he paraded into Jerusalem (on a mule), from the east, in 1 Kings 1:32-37.
Have you ever wondered how Israel knew this was it when Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?
“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”” (Matthew 21:1-3)
Jesus came into Jerusalem from the east, riding a donkey, and everyone flipped out. Some, by waking palm branches and shouting praises, others by asking each other, “who is this guy?”
Something like 353 Old Testament prophesies we’re fulfilled by Jesus, and symbolism like this is everywhere. He is the Prince of our LORD!
“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
As we approach Palm Sunday this weekend, consider with me what it means for Jesus to be hailed as King. It’s easy to get casual comfortable with Jesus and forget how much honor and respect is due Him (all of it: see Daniel 7:14 and Philippians 2:9-10).
It is beautiful and right to praise Him! The embodied glory of the LORD returning to His people, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!