The True Significance of the Triumphal Entry
The Testing of the Pasach Lamb
By Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
The Gospels clearly testify that Yeshua fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 3:1-9 in His first coming. Furthermore, Yeshua is specifically portrayed as the Pesach Lamb in four Brit Chadashah (New Testament) passages.
- The first passage is John 1:29, where John the Baptist introduced Yeshua as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. By calling Yeshua the Lamb of God, he identified Him as both the Pesach lamb of Exodus 12 and the Lamb of God of Isaiah 53.
- The second passage is in John 1:35-36, where Yeshua is again identified as the Lamb of God.
- The third passage is I Peter 1:18-19, where Peter portrays Yeshua in terms of a lamb without spot or blemish.
- The fourth passage is Revelation 5:6, which speaks of a lamb as though it had been slain.
Other Brit Chadashah passages, such as I Corinthians 5:6-7, add that the Messiah is our Passover:
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also has been sacrificed, even Messiah.I Corinthians 5:6-7
Part of the biblical practice mentioned earlier [in The Feasts and Fasts of Israel] was that the lamb which was to be used for Pesach was to be set aside on the tenth day of the month. It was then to be tested until the fourteenth day to be sure that it was without defect before it was killed (Ex. 12:5; Lev. 1:3, 23:12).
Yeshua, as the Pesach Lamb of God, was also set aside on the tenth day of the month, because it was on this day that the triumphal entry occurred. Many interpret this event as being Yeshua’s final offer to be Israel’s Messiah, but that is not the significance of the triumphal entry. Its true significance was that on this occasion—on the tenth day of the month, the same day that the literal lamb was set aside—Yeshua set Himself aside as the perfect Pesach Lamb.
From the tenth day until the fourteenth day of the month, Yeshua was tested four times: by the Pharisees, by the Sadducees, by the Scribes, and by the Herodians. Four times, He responded to their accusations, and He silenced even the Pharisees and the Sadducees with His responses. Their attempts to find a basis for accusing Him before the Romans and to discredit Him before the Jewish population ended in failure. By answering all their objections and questions, He showed that He was truly without sin. The fact that He was now proved to be without spot (I Pet. 1:19) meant that He could proceed to the cross and become the final Pesach sacrifice (I Cor. 5:7).
Yeshua was the Pesach Lamb in every respect. His death is described as the death of the Lamb of God, the final Paschal Lamb; He died as a Pesach sacrifice. During His crucifixion, His blood, the blood of the Lamb of God, was shed.
Yeshua died on the first day of Pesach. He was crucified at nine o’clock in the morning, and it was at nine o’clock in the morning that the special Pesach, the chagigah, was offered in the Temple compound. Just as the Jews were very careful to make sure that not a single bone of the Pesach lamb was broken, John 19:36 points out that not a single bone of Yeshua was broken either, not during the course of the beatings or the crucifixion itself or by the Roman soldiers who broke the legs of the other men at the end of it all.
Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Feasts and Fasts of Israel: Their Historic and Prophetic Significance (San Antonio, TX: Ariel Ministries, 2019), p. 77-78.