Then, says Daniel, as soon as the command goes forth to build Jerusalem, then can you begin to reckon the time to the coming of the Messiah, only a limited and stated time must then elapse before the Christ, the Saviour of Israel, shall appear (Dan. ix. 25).
No wonder then that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off that day, as they thought of the good days that were coming. The word of the living God had come true, the street was built, the wall was built, now they had only to wait for the fulfilment of the rest of the prophecy, for the coming of their own Messiah and King.
We should all like to have stood in Jerusalem on that joyous dedication day, and watched the glorious procession entering the temple on Mount Zion. But we shall see one day a far grander procession than that.
The leader of that procession will ride on a white horse. His eyes will be as a flame of fire, on His head will be many crowns, His name will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He will be followed in the procession by the armies of heaven, on white horses, clothed in fine linen, clean and white (Rev. xix.)
Coming down to earth, His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and then passing through the Golden Gate, the King and His followers will enter Jerusalem.
Then again Jerusalem will become the Holy City, for from that day the name of the city shall be ‘The Lord is there,’ Ezek. xlviii. 35.
So soon as the Lord, who deserted Jerusalem, returns to her, she must become once more the Holy City. Even upon the bells of the horses and the vessels of the temple shall then be inscribed, Holiness to the Lord; all dedicated to Him and to His service.
Then indeed shall the glad cry go up:
’Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.’
Then again, in that glad day, the joy of Jerusalem shall be heard afar off, for God Himself will call upon all to rejoice with her.
’Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her,’ Isa. lxvi. 10.
And the King Himself will lead the rejoicing:
’And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying,’ Isa. lxv. 19.
Shall we indeed take part in that grand procession? Shall we stand with the King of Glory on Olivet? Shall we pass within the gate into the city? It all depends upon whether we are sprinkled, made pure, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. Only those who were purified could take part in Nehemiah’s procession; only sprinkled ones, cleansed by Christ, will be allowed to join in the song of rejoicing, when the Lord comes to reign in Jerusalem gloriously.