Following his entry into Jerusalem when the people hailed him as their king (Luke 19:38) and eagerly expected the establishment of his Kingdom (Mark 11:9-10), Jesus spent several days in the city teaching the people and his disciples. There is every indication that he continued to do this right up to the night on which he was betrayed by Judas. During these last few days spent in Jerusalem the entire city would have become aware that Jesus was there. The stories of the marvelous works he had performed would have been talked about in every home and on every street corner. There was hardly anyone in Jerusalem at that time who had failed to hear of this exceptional man.
But then overnight the people turned against Jesus. Ignoring the kindness, love, dedication, and mighty work shown to them for the past 3-1/2 years they turned their backs on him and sought his death. The reason for this sudden betrayal is clearly indicated in Matthew 27:20,
The CHIEF PRIESTS and THE ELDERS persuaded the people to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.
Mark records in chapter 15, verse 11,
The CHIEF PRIESTS stirred up the crowd to have him (Pilate) release for them Barabbas instead.
Responding to the cries and appeals of their religious leaders the people chose to reject their Messiah. Who in Israel would have believed it possible? Had they been familiar (as they should have been) with the Old Testament prophecies concerning the need for the sacrifice and suffering of the Messiah before he acquired his Kingship, the Jews might not have acted so quickly. But their dependence upon the religious leaders for direction led them to denounce their Savior.
And what of today? Because of the popularity and general acceptance of the "future Antichrist" theory, Christians everywhere are being prepared to follow in the same footsteps as their Jewish counterparts at the time of Jesus' crucifixion. Most of today's Christians have come to rely solely on their leaders for an understanding of the prophecies concerning the return of Christ and read their Bibles only to learn of the moral standards to be upheld in their life. While the latter is extremely important, it by no means fulfills the responsibility of every follower of Jesus Christ to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Therefore, with our Bibles in hand, let us examine the true meaning of the Scriptural passages which are misunderstood by the supporters of the "future Antichrist" theory.