Palm Sunday’s Prophetic Meaning :: By John Sarkett

Among the most amazing of fulfilled prophecies is that which concerns Palm Sunday. So stunning, it makes the case to take up serious Bible prophecy study for the believer and makes the case for faith to the non-believer.

Consider: God gave Israel a prophetic sign by which they could know how long it would be before Messiah appeared. It is described in Daniel, chapter 9:24-26a):

“Seventy-sevens are determined upon thy People and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself:”

So the term is divided into 70 7s and, strangely, 69 weeks, i.e., 490 and 483. But what are these? The term “seventy weeks” must be understood from the context of the entire Bible. With the Lord, a day is sometimes counted as a year (examples include Numbers 14:33,34a, Ezekiel 4:4-6, Ex. 20:8-11, 23:10-11), and so one can understand here the 69 weeks, or the 483 days as 483 years. (Why the obfuscation, one may ask, why not just say 483 years? Well, it is the honor of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out (Proverbs 25.2).

The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes, also called Darius. He is the ‘great king’ of the book of Esther. As head of the First Persian Empire, he ruled the known world from 465 B.C. to 424 B.C. That included the land of Israel.

The date of Darius’ edict is given as 444 B.C. by timeline expert Dr. Harold Hoehner in his book Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Many scholars agree.

From there, the calculation goes like this:

  • 69 x 7 = 483 Biblical years
  • 483 x 360 = 173,880 days
  • 173,880 / 365.25 = 476 solar years
  • -444 (the edict year) + 476 = 32 + 1 year for the zero year to arrive at 33 A.D.
  • Nisan 10 (Jewish calendar for our March 30), then, the first Palm Sunday, so to speak, is the date of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) 33 A.D.

Astonishingly, the prophecy proved precise to the very day! No man can do such a thing. Only the Lord God Himself can prophesy “on the clock,” i.e., 483 years into the future to the very day! This fulfilled prophecy is proof of God’s existence as well as positive identification of the Messiah.  (The prophecy of the 483 years is also a “surety,” so to speak, that all the remainder end-time prophecies will be fulfilled just as precisely according to God’s own calendar. Believers can rest on that.)

Jesus as King

When the Lord entered Jerusalem on that fateful day we call “Palm Sunday,” crowds cheered him, saying, “Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19.38).

Jesus was hailed as King! Daniel’s prophecy, “Messiah as Prince,” was fulfilled on that day.

When the shocked Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke his disciples for talking that way, Jesus said, “If they keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers.” Jesus was saying the prophecy was going to be fulfilled, no matter what.

Indeed, Daniel’s prophecy of the 483 years from the edict to the King had come true.

And so we have insight into Luke 19:42: “If thou also hadst known, even on this day, the things which belong to thy peace; but now they are hid from thine eyes!”

He was saying had he been accepted as King, he would have set up the Messianic kingdom at that time, but it was not to be.

A few days later, as Jesus knew would happen, the same individuals who had called him King were calling for him to be crucified.

Remarkable and foretold in one single prophecy: Messiah as Prince, and Messiah cut off.

Fulfilled prophecy is spiritual capital we can bank against future prophecy being fulfilled. Some 27% of the Bible is prophecy, according to scholar J.B. Payne, The Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy; most remains to be fulfilled. It is happening now at light speed:

  • Israel, in the land. Before 1948, there was no “Israel” per se.
  • Russia, Iran, Turkey joining hands, menacing Israel.
  • Wars, Ukraine, Gaza. Others on the brink.

The spirit of delusion that covers the world; Jesus cited deception four times in Matthew 24, the foundation scripture of the end of the age and the return of Christ. Every institution known to human society is now shot through with delusion, deceit, corruption. The last to go, within the past few years, was medicine, now joining politics, finance, education, business, climate, gender, and all the rest.

Question: are we “there” yet? Answer: “almost.”

As Jan Markell, Olive Tree Ministries, has said, we can only stand to look around the world scene if we look up.

Toward that end, consider the last words of the book of Ezekiel: and the name of the (future) city shall be Jehovah Shammah, i.e., The Lord is there.

Bullinger comments,

“…with all the blessing, peace, security and glory of His abiding presence. Those who read this book and believe what God has here written for our learning will not be troubled with all the puerile guesses and trifling comments of the natural man but understand something of the grand revelations which can only be spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2.14).”

Amen. Meanwhile, tough times are here, and worse may be ahead.

Pack God’s Words into your mind and heart, and keep looking up, and so withstand whatever the enemy brings until you see with your own eyes the city where “The Lord is there.”


John A. Sarkett writes for Rapture Ready from time to time. This piece was adapted from his book After Armageddon.



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