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By Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

This is the twenty-first Shofar study of Dr. Fruchtenbaum's Christology series. Previous studies may be accessed by links in our Library and Sound Doctrine pages.

  • Before Abraham was born, I am. ~ John 8:58

  • I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. ~ John 14:6

  • He that hath seen me hath seen the Father .~ John 14:9

Few doctrines can be considered more fundamental than the nature, character and works of Messiah, and few teachers are able to convey such truths with the thoroughness, detail, accuracy, clarity, organization and fluidity that characterizes Dr. Fruchtenbaum. So let's sharpen our focus and continue.

Study 21: Ariel Ministries' Messianic Bible Study #056


By Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

© 1983, 2005 Ariel Ministries. All rights reserved. No part of this manuscript may be reproduced in any form, except in brief quotation in a review or professional work, without written permission from the publishers. Cover illustration by Olivier Melnick.

Email: Homeoffice @ ariel . org. When email, remove the spaces.
Website: www.ariel.org.

This manuscript is republished by special permission of Ariel Ministries.


A. By the Priests and the Elders
B. By the Pharisees and the Herodians
C. By the Sadducees
D. By the Pharisees


. . . when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took the branches of the palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried out, Hosanna: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.

~ John 12:12 ~


The Triumphal Entry occurred on what is known today among many as “Palm Sunday.” This study will also cover what happened over the next several days, just before the last Passover or the Last Supper. The things that happened during the next few days following the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem are largely related to that particular event.

Normally, the Triumphal Entry is interpreted to represent the time when Yeshua (Jesus) came and officially offered Himself as the King of the Jews and as Israel’s Messiah. But that is not the best interpretation of the actual significance of the Triumphal Entry, because Yeshua had already been offering Himself as the Messiah and the King of the Jews for the previous three and one-half years. Israel had already rejected the Messiahship of Jesus about a year and one-half earlier (Mat. 12:22-45). At that point, Yeshua said that the generation of His day was guilty of committing the “unpardonable sin”; therefore, they were under the judgment that would come in the year A.D. 70. Furthermore, the Kingdom offer was then rescinded, to be re-offered to a later Jewish generation: the generation of the Great Tribulation. The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem was not for the purpose of officially offering Himself as the King; there was a different purpose.


The Triumphal Entry took place in the context of the Passover. The significance of this particular Passover was that this was the Passover when Yeshua knew that the final atonement for sin would be made, by virtue of His death (Lk. 22:14).

The date when this event occurred, insofar as the Jewish calendar is concerned, was the tenth of the Jewish month of Nisan. According to Exodus 12:3-6, it was on the tenth day of the month of Nisan that the lamb was to be set aside. Between the tenth and the fourteenth of the month, the lamb was to be inspected and tested to be sure that it was without spot and without blemish (Ex. 12:5). Beginning on the evening of the fourteenth of Nisan, the Passover occurred. So the Triumphal Entry was not the time that Jesus was offering Himself as the King, that was nothing new, but rather, this was the day of the setting aside of the Lamb of God. What happened over the next several days was the testing of the Lamb to prove that the Lamb of God was without blemish and without spot (I Pet. 1:19).

John 11:55 and 12:1, 9-11 state that Yeshua arrived in the town of Bethany, which by then had become a suburb of Jerusalem. He arrived six days before the passover, which would make it the eighth day of Nisan. This was the regular Jewish custom during the Passover feast. Those who would come to Jerusalem for the observance of the Feast of the Passover would arrive in the Jerusalem vicinity on the eighth of Nisan. Yeshua was keeping with that pattern. Two days later was the tenth of Nisan, the day of the Triumphal Entry, the day of the setting aside of the Lamb of God. Again, the purpose of the Triumphal Entry was not to offer Himself as the King or to re-offer the Kingdom. These things had been rejected and, for that generation, the rejection was terminal. There would be no re-offer of the Kingdom until the Great Tribulation. What happened on this day was that the Passover Lamb of God was set aside for a period of testing to prove that He was indeed without blemish and without spot.

The Gospel accounts detail what happened. Between Bethany and Jerusalem there was a town called Bethphage. As Jesus left Bethany and was passing by the town of Bethphage, He sent His disciples to fetch a colt. Mark 11:2 states that they would find “a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat.” They were to take this colt to Yeshua because this would be the colt on which He would ride into Jerusalem. A miracle takes place here which few people notice. The Gospels of Mark and Luke clearly state that this was a colt “upon which no one had ever sat.” Normally, if one rides a colt upon which no one has ever sat, the colt would buck because it has not yet been broken. In this case, the colt did not buck, showing Jesus’ authority as the Messiah and as the Creator over the animal kingdom. In verse 3, Yeshua told His disciples that if anyone objected to their taking this colt, all they needed to say was “The Lord has need of him” and the colt would be immediately released, with no further objections raised. The colt was brought to Yeshua, and He rode into Jerusalem in fulfillment of a messianic prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9, which states that the Messiah would ride into Jerusalem upon just such a colt. Matthew 21:4-5 emphasized this as being the fulfillment of that prophecy.

Just as He was riding the colt into Jerusalem, suddenly the buzzing of rumors began to spread that Jesus was coming, riding in as the Messianic King of the Jews. The Jewish people responded; and their response was something significant. John 12:12-13 states:

On the morrow a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried out, Hosanna: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.

Mark 11:8-10 states:

And many spread their garments upon the way; and others branches, which they had cut from the fields. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, Hosanna; Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord: Blessed is the kingdom that comes, the kingdom of our father David: Hosanna in the highest.

Matthew 21:8-9 reads:

And the most part of the multitude spread their garments in the way; and others cut branches from the trees, and spread them in the way. And the multitudes that went before him, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

Luke 19:37-38 reads:

And as he was now drawing nigh, even at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen; saying, Blessed is the King that comes in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

The four Gospel accounts together give a full description of the responses of the multitudes. They responded in several ways. First, they cut off palm branches and laid them before the feet of the colt upon which Yeshua was riding. Secondly, they cried out Hosanna in Hebrew, Hoshanah. Thirdly, they said, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. Normally, these are not actions that are performed during the Passover, rather, they are performed during the Feast of Tabernacles. The response of the multitudes showed that they were expecting the Feast of Tabernacles to be fulfilled on this occasion. According to Zechariah 14:16-21, the Feast of Tabernacles is to be fulfilled by means of the Messianic Kingdom. The declaration, Hosanna, and the actions of the multitudes showed that they were expecting the Kingdom to be set up on that occasion in fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.

However, they did not yet realize that Jesus was not coming to fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles, rather, He was coming to fulfill the Passover. The Passover was not to be fulfilled by the establishment of the Kingdom, but by the death of the Messiah. The multitudes misinterpreted the purpose of His riding into Jerusalem on that occasion.

Furthermore, one of the greetings they applied to Yeshua was, Blessed is he that comes in the name of Jehovah, which comes from Psalm 118:26, a messianic psalm of the Old Testament. From a Jewish frame of reference, that particular phrase is an official Messianic greeting. The rabbis taught that, when the Messiah comes, He must be greeted with these words. When the people applied these words to Jesus, they were proclaiming Him, by the thousands, to be the Messiah of Israel.

But while the masses were proclaiming Him to be the Messiah, the Pharisees did not go along with them. The Pharisaic response is recorded in John 12:19: The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Behold how ye prevail nothing; lo, the world is gone after him.

Luke 19:39-40 adds: And some of the Pharisees from the multitude said unto him, Teacher, rebuke your disciples. And he answered and said, I tell you that, if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.

To the Pharisees’ objections, Yeshua responded that there must be a testimony to the fact that the Messiah had come. If the multitude had been silent, the stones would have cried out the very same lines.

That Jesus was not riding into Jerusalem to offer Himself as the King with the Kingdom is made clear by what happens next. In the context of the many Hosannas and greetings of Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, in the context of many proclamations of His Messiahship, the words of Yeshua remained words of judgment. Luke 19:41-44 states:

And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If you had known in this day, even you, the things which belong unto peace! but now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies shall cast up a bank about you, and compass you round, and keep you in on every side, and shall dash you to the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation.

If Jesus had simply offered the Kingdom as He rode into Jerusalem on that day of the Triumphal Entry, He would have been accepted as the Messiah by the multitudes right then and there! He was being proclaimed as the Messiah by thousands upon thousands of Jews. It cannot be claimed that this was a minority, because Matthew 21:8 states that it was true for the most part of the multitude. The objectors were the leaders, but the masses were proclaiming His messiahship. If Yeshua was offering Himself once again as the King and re-offering the Kingdom, they were accepting it. However, that was not the purpose of the Triumphal Entry. For no amount of Hosannas and Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord could change what had already occurred a year-and-a-half earlier. The unpardonable sin had already been committed by this generation. They had already rejected His Messiahship on the grounds of demon possession; and because that sin was exactly what He said it was, unpardonable, under no circumstances could the judgment now be removed. Otherwise, the unpardonable would have become pardonable, negating the very words of Jesus. In spite of the many Hosannas, in spite of the many messianic proclamations, because the rejection had already occurred and the unpardonable sin had already been committed, the words of Yeshua were words of judgment.

Jesus once again reiterated that Jerusalem was destined for destruction. The Temple was to be torn down until not one stone stood upon another. The reason for this is at the end of verse 44, “because you knew not the time of your visitation.” Because Jerusalem had not recognized at the proper time that the Messiah had come, the judgment was still going to occur. The time of your visitation, which they did not know, was in Matthew 12. After a manifold testimony of His Messiahship, after Yeshua proved Himself by many miracles, signs, and wonders, after they heard Him teach and preach and proclaim for the past year and a half, they had rejected Him. Thus, they did not know the time of their visitation. Because of this, they were still under judgment.

Again, the purpose of the Triumphal Entry was not to offer the Kingdom, but the purpose was to set aside the Lamb of God in preparation for the Passover sacrifice. Mark 11:11 states that He went on and entered into Jerusalem. Greater details of what happened once He entered the city are given in Matthew 21:10-11: And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, Who is this? And the multitudes said, This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.

The whole city understood the significance of what was happening. But, once again, the chief priests, the Sadducees, and the scribes, the Pharisees, objected in Matthew 21:15-16:

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children that were crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were moved with indignation, and said unto him, Hear you what these are saying? And Jesus said unto them, Yea: did ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise?

When the Pharisees objected to the worship Yeshua received, His response was to let them know that the Messiah had these things coming to Him. Jesus’ acceptance of the praise and worship showed that He accepted their claims that He was the Messiah. At that point, Yeshua left Jerusalem and returned to Bethany (v. 17).

On that day, the tenth of Nisan, the Lamb of God was set aside. From the tenth until the fourteenth, this Lamb would be tested to show that He was indeed without blemish and without spot.


After the Triumphal entry, Yeshua returned to Bethany where He spent every night. From this point on, He proceeded to Jerusalem on a daily basis. During the next three or four days, Yeshua was tested by four different groups to make sure that He was without blemish and without spot.

A. By the Priests and the Elders
The first attack or test came from the priests and the elders and the question here is one of authority. This is recorded in Matthew 21:23- 22:14; Mark 11:27-12:12; and Luke 20:1-19.

The priests and elders approached Yeshua and asked Him the question recorded in Mark 11:28: ... By what authority do you these things? or who gave you this authority to do these things?

According to Pharisaism, authoritative teaching required previous rabbinic authorization. Since Jesus was teaching the Scriptures with authority, they asked where He received the authority to interpret the Scriptures as He did.

Luke 20:1 describes the occasion on which they approached Him, “he was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel.” It is while He was teaching the multitudes that the Pharisees approached Him with this question to see if they could discredit Him before the very masses that had, on the day of the Triumphal Entry, proclaimed Him by myriads to be the Messiah of Israel.

It is a common procedure among the Jewish people to answer questions by asking questions of their own. There is a Jewish story that tells about a Gentile approaching a Jewish rabbi and asking him the question, “Why do you Jews always answer questions by asking questions?” The rabbi responded, “Why not?” So in keeping with this Jewish motif, Yeshua responded, answering their question with one of His own in Luke 20:3-4: And he answered and said unto them, I also will ask you a question; and tell me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men?

He asked them to answer a question first. Did the ministry of John the Baptist originate from Heaven? Was it a God-ordained ministry or did John do it all from his own human efforts?

The priests and the elders were then caught in a dilemma all their own. If they said that John’s ministry was not of God, it is they who would be discredited before the masses, because the people had considered John to be a prophet and a martyr for the faith. But if they said that the baptism of John was of Heaven and that John had a God-ordained ministry, then Yeshua could say, “I received My authority from John.” It was John who baptized Jesus and who also identified Him as the “Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” So, if they said that John’s ministry was from Heaven, then Yeshua could say, “I received My authority from John.” Being caught on these “horns of a dilemma,” they refused to answer the question. Because they refused to answer Jesus’ question, He refused to answer their question.

Then Yeshua proceeded to tell three parables. The first is the Parable of the Two Sons, found in Matthew 21:28-32. The parable tells about a father who had asked his two sons to do something. One son said, “I will do it,” but did not; the second son said, “I won’t do it,” but did. So in the end, it was the son who said he would not do it who actually obeyed the father. The parable made two points. First, sonship is proved by obedience. While one can attain sonship purely by faith, the evidence of sonship is by obedience. The second point made by this parable is that the publicans and sinners or prostitutes, the ones whom the Pharisees considered to be outcasts, will enter the Kingdom while the Pharisees will not. The Pharisees are like the son who said, “I will,” but never did; while the publicans and prostitutes are those who said, “I won’t,” but, in the end, they did obey. So sinners will enter the Kingdom while the Pharisees will not, because sonship is proved by obedience.

The second parable is the Parable of The Householder, found in Matthew 21:33-46. This parable is about a householder who leased his vineyard to the keepers of the vineyard, to husbandmen. They were, of course, to give back a percentage of the produce to the householder. This they refused to do, so three different sets of servants were sent. All three sets of servants were mistreated. Finally, the householder sent his own son, assuming that they would indeed obey the son; but they killed the son. The householder is God the Father; the vineyard is a symbol of Israel in the Old Testament; and the husbandmen are the leadership of Israel. The point is that the Jewish leaders killed the prophets, and now they would kill the Son. The three sets of servants of the householder are the prophets of God. The first set was the pre-exilic prophets, those who came before the Babylonian Exile; the second set was the prophets who came after the Babylonian Exile; and the third set was John the Baptist and his disciples. All three were rejected. Now, God the Father sent His Son, and the Son would also be rejected. In fact, Jesus prophesied in this parable that the Son would actually be killed.

Having stated the parable, Yeshua then made the application. He pronounced the judgment in Luke 20:16: He will come and destroy these husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

The judgment that Yeshua described would come in the year A.D. 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the world-wide dispersion of the Jewish people. By quoting Psalm 118:22-23, Jesus also pointed out that what was happening was a fulfillment of prophecy. It was prophesied that the Messiah would be rejected.

Then Yeshua made the application. First, there is a national application: the offer of the Kingdom that was given to this generation has been withdrawn. It will be re-offered to another Jewish generation, the Jewish generation of the Great Tribulation, according to Matthew 21:43: ... The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

This is not the Church, because the Church is not a nation but is composed of individuals from many nations. He was speaking of a nation, which is Israel. It would be withdrawn from this generation of the nation and offered to another generation of the nation. Secondly, as for the individual application, those who stumbled over the Stone, Yeshua, would find themselves eventually crushed to dust by the Rejected Stone.

Then came the third parable, the Parable of the Wedding, found in Matthew 22:1-14. The point of this parable was that those who had been invited to the marriage feast would not partake of it. Because this generation rejected the Kingdom, which had been offered, they would lose the benefit of having the Kingdom established in their day; they would miss the marriage feast with which the Kingdom is destined to begin.

B. By the Pharisees and the Herodians
The second attack was a question of politics and it came from the Pharisees and the Herodians. This is recorded in Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; and Luke 20:20-26.

The Pharisees and the Herodians were at opposite ends of the political spectrum. The Herodians supported Roman rule through the House of Herod, but the Pharisees objected to it. Normally, these two groups would never have joined together in any project whatsoever. They felt they had no common ground, but because of their mutual animosity toward Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah, they sided together against Him. The Pharisees attacked His Messiahship because He did not go along with the Pharisaic mold of what they expected the Messiah to be. The Herodians objected because, by claiming to be the Messiah, He was claiming to be Caesar’s competitor and, therefore, would not honor the House of Herod any more than John the Baptist did.

So they came to Yeshua to ask Him a question. This question is recorded in Mark 12:14: ... Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

According to Pharisaism, to give tribute to Caesar was to own Caesar as king; and to own Caesar as king, was to disown Jehovah. Furthermore, from a political perspective, to pay taxes to Caesar was to recognize Rome’s rule over Israel. The Zealot Party, among the Pharisees in particular, objected to paying taxes to Rome, because that would mean recognizing Rome’s right to rule over Israel. If Jesus had answered, “Yes, it is lawful to pay tribute to Caesar,” that would raise the anger of the people, and Yeshua would be discredited among the masses who had proclaimed Him to be the Messiah on the day of the Triumphal Entry. But if Yeshua had said, “No, do not pay tribute to Caesar,” then Jesus could be charged with sedition and rebellion against Rome. If Yeshua answered one way, the Pharisees would have a basis for accusation; if He answered another way, the Herodians would have a basis for accusation. That is why both groups were there asking this question.

In Matthew 22:18-19, Jesus responded by pointing out that He knew they were hypocrites and were trying to tempt Him, and then told them: Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a denarius. Yeshua did not ask for a Jewish shekel coin, but He asked for the Roman tribute coin which had the inscription and picture of Caesar on it. It is also clear from the tense, that no one there had the tribute coin. When Mark 12:16 states: And they brought it, the picture is that someone had to go and fetch it, because Pharisees, especially, were not allowed to carry a coin that had the image of a man on it; that would have been considered idolatry.

So they brought the tribute money to Jesus and He answered their question by asking one of His own. In Mark 12:16, the question was: ... Whose is this image and superscription? ...

The only answer they could give was: Caesar’s. Since this coin contained the image of Caesar, it is obvious that, under Jewish law, such a coin could not be used for personal use or for Temple use. The only thing one could do with a coin like that was to return it to Caesar.

So Yeshua taught in Matthew 22:21: ... Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

At this point, Jesus laid down the principle of separation of religion and state and pointed out that there are two areas of authority: divine authority and delegated authority. Divine authority comes from God, but delegated authority comes through Caesar. The payment of taxes to Caesar did not nullify God’s rule, it only recognized God’s delegated rule through this government. Eventually, Yeshua, as the Messiah, will replace Caesar.

Since this was also the clear teaching of the Old Testament that human governments have delegated authority from God, even so Gentile governments can have authority over Israel. Luke 20:26 states: And they were not able to take hold of the saying before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.

So, this attempt by the Pharisees and the Herodians to discredit Jesus also ended in failure.

C. By the Sadducees
The third attack was a question of theology and this came from the Sadducees. This is recorded in Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; and Luke 20:27-40. The specific theological issue was the question of the resurrection from the dead.

There were a good number of differences between the theology of the Pharisees and the theology of the Sadducees, one of which was the belief in a future resurrection from the dead. The Pharisees believed in a physical, literal resurrection of the dead, but the Sadducees did not.

The Sadducees liked to ask tricky questions of the Pharisees to make them look stupid, and they often succeeded. One day they tried one of these tricky questions on Yeshua. They came to Him and hypocritically acknowledged Him to be a great teacher, and tried to “warm Him up” and “set Him up for the kill.” Then they told the story of a woman who married a man who had six brothers. The Mosaic Law taught that, if a married man died before fathering any children, his brother had the responsibility of marrying the widow and raising up children in his deceased brother’s name. She married the first brother, but he died. In keeping with Mosaic Law, the second brother married her, but he also died before producing any children. Again, in keeping with the Law of Moses, the third brother married her, but he also died before any children were born. She married the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh brother, and the same thing happened. Eventually she was married to all seven brothers, but she produced no children through any of them. All seven of them died and, finally, she died as well. The question, then, was: If there really is such a thing as a resurrection from the dead, whose wife is she going to be, since all seven brothers had been married to her?

This was a tricky question often asked of the Pharisees, and the Pharisees were totally incapable of producing an answer to it. Because of their failure, they were made to look stupid by the Sadducees. As a result, the Pharisees were often embarrassed by those questions of the Sadducees. They were not able to deal with the issue of whose wife she is going to be in light of the fact that all seven brothers were married to her, but none of them produced children. Had they produced children, in the resurrection she would have remained married to the one to whom she gave children.

But Yeshua bypassed that issue to deal with the real problem the Sadducees had; they were indeed mistaken because they did not know or understand the Scriptures (Mat. 22:29). So, what is the answer to this Sadducean question? Yeshua responded by stating their problem: they err, they made mistakes, because they did not know two things. First, they did not know what the scriptures taught on this issue; and secondly, they did not know the power of God.

He then gave a threefold answer in verse 30. First, He made an appeal to the power of God by pointing out that the resurrection is not going to be a mere reawakening. It is not going to be a mere restoration back to natural, physical life as we know it; but when the resurrection occurs, that resurrection will be a transformation of the body. It will be a type of body that cannot reproduce itself. Because it is not a body that can be reproduced, there will be no need for marriage in the resurrection; resurrection bodies cannot be propagated through natural generation. Whereas the human race, as it is now, must have a marriage relationship with sexual intercourse by which it can be propagated, this is simply not going to be true with the resurrection body. The resurrection is not going to be a mere reawakening, a mere restoration back to natural life, but rather, a transformation into a new type of resurrection life; there will be no marrying or giving in marriage in Heaven with the resurrection body. So the answer is: She will be no one’s wife, for there will be no marital relationships in the resurrection.

The second answer Jesus gave was to make an appeal to the covenant relationship. In Matthew 22:32, Yeshua quoted Exodus 3:6-7, where God told Moses: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. This was the official Old Testament formula for what is now called the Abrahamic Covenant. Part of the Abrahamic Covenant was that God promised certain things to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob which were not fulfilled in their lifetimes. God did not merely promise the Land to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but God said to Abraham: To you and to your seed I will give this land; to Isaac He said: To you and to your seed I will give this land; and to Jacob He said; To you and to your seed I will give this land. So, the Land was not merely promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob personally. Yet the most that these three men ever owned of the Promised Land was one burial cave and several wells. Since these three men died without the promise being fulfilled, a resurrection is required. Contained within the concept of the promise of God is a concept of resurrection in that, if God made certain promises to an individual and that individual dies before those promises are fulfilled, it automatically requires a future resurrection for God to fulfill His promises. This is the point of Hebrews 11:17-19, which tells about Abraham’s faith. When Abraham was asked to offer up Isaac, he knew God had made promises concerning Isaac. So, even if Abraham had proceeded to kill Isaac, he knew that God would raise Isaac back to life: God’s promises, which are unfulfilled in one’s lifetime, require a future resurrection for those promises to be fulfilled.

The third appeal Jesus made is found in Matthew 22:32: ... God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

The point here is that God has a living relationship to the fathers and, therefore, He cannot leave them dead.

The result of this third attack and answer is threefold. First, the people were astonished at his teaching (Mat. 22:33), because it was a brand new view of what Exodus 3:6 meant. Secondly, even the Pharisees were impressed, because they could never answer the Sadducean question, but Yeshua did, and this supported their view of the resurrection. Thirdly, the Sadducees were silenced as Luke 20:40 states: For they dare not ask any more questions. They were the ones who were made to look foolish.

D. By the Pharisees
The fourth attack came from the Pharisees, and this was also a question of theology. This is recorded in Matthew 22:34-40; and Mark 12:28-34. Initially, the one asking the question was attempting to trick Jesus. Matthew 22:35-36 states: And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, trying him: Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? The question was, “What was the greatest commandment? What is the most important commandment?”

The Mark passage gives the fullest answer. Verses 12:29-30 state. Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one: and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

The most important commandment is Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

But then Yeshua went beyond the question and told them what the second most important commandment was in verse 31: The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Since these are the same answers that the Pharisees themselves would have given and is what they believed, they were not able to take hold of Him at all.

So at this point, the Pharisees were also silenced, as Mark 12:34 states: ... And no man after that dare ask him any question.

So four times the Lamb of God was attacked and tested; four times He responded to show that He was without blemish and without spot.


Jesus now turned to all of His attackers with a question of His own, recorded in Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; and Luke 20:41-44. According to Matthew 22:42, the question was: ... Christ? Whose son is he? … Whose Son was the Messiah supposed to be?

They answered correctly in verse 42: ... The son of David.

But then Yeshua threw the trick question at them. If the Messiah was supposed to be David’s son, why, then, in Psalm 110:1, does David call the Messiah, Lord? A father would never address his son as Lord. So in Matthew 22:45: If David called him Lord, how is he his son?

Their response, according to verse 46, was: And no one was able to answer him a word, ...

They could not answer His question, because the answer is in the concept of the God-Man. As to His humanity, He is David’s son; but as to His deity, He is David’s Lord.


The Lamb of God had been tested four different times by Sadducees, Pharisees, Herodians, elders and priests. He was attacked four times, and four times He responded. Indeed, He proved Himself to be without blemish and without spot. Even the Pharisees and the Sadducees were silenced by His response. The fact that He was now proved to be without blemish and without spot meant that He could proceed to the cross and become the final Passover sacrifice (I Cor. 5:7).


If you enjoyed this Bible study, Dr. Fruchtenbaum recommends the following messianic Bible studies (mbs):
mbs 009: The Trial of the Messiah
mbs 016: Nicodemus, A Rabbi's Quest
mbs 020: How Did the Wise Men Know? or Is Astrology Valid?
mbs 028: The Olivet Discourse
mbs 031: Highlights of the Birth and Early Life of Jesus
mbs 032: The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
mbs 035: The Three Messianic Miracles
mbs 036: The Three Sabbath Controversies Between Jesus and the Pharisees
mbs 040: The Parables of the Kingdom
mbs 043: The Confession of Peter
mbs 044:
mbs 048: Mammon of Unrighteousness
mbs 049: The Adulterous Woman
mbs 060: The Upper Room Discourses
mbs 061: The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus
mbs 069: The Agony of Gethsemane
mbs 070: The Death and Burial of the Messiah
mbs 075: The Resurrection of the Messiah
mbs 076: The Ascension of the Messiah
mbs 094: The Sermon on the Mount
mbs 099: The Results of the Death of Messiah
mbs 127: The Birth and Early Life of the Messiah
mbs 134: How the New Testament Quotes the Old Testament
mbs 183: The Healing of the Man at the Pool of Bethesda: John 5
mbs 185: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman: John 4:1-42

Many of Dr. Fruchtenbaum's studies are available for free online reading and listening at Ariel Ministries' Come and See. All of his materials are available for purchase at Ariel Ministries in various formats. Other select materials and resources are available at Ariel, as well.

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Th.M, Ph.D., is founder and director of Ariel Ministries.

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