And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:41-44
It was a Sunday like no other for Jesus and His disciples. The book of John tells us Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus where they had given a dinner for Him. (John 12: 1-8) The next morning Jesus prepared to walk a path that would lead to a painful earthly death. Reaching the Mount of Olives Jesus sent two of His disciples to fetch a humble colt on which He would ride into Jerusalem.
From the Mount of Olives the entire city of Jerusalem is spread out in view. As He waited for the colt Jesus would have had time to look over the city and consider all that lay before Him in the coming days.
The disciples prepared the colt with garments as would be done for a king, and began leading Jesus on the half-mile descent of about 400 feet, cheering and proclaiming, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38 ESV) As they walked people joined in the praise for Jesus, remembering all the mighty works they had seen Him do. It was a celebration!
Have you ever attended an event where it seemed everyone was celebrating, but then you glace across the crowd and find someone who seems to be struggling? I believe this was the case for Jesus as they approached Jerusalem. Our Scripture tells us Jesus wept over Jerusalem. I believe He wept not because of what would take place in His life in the days ahead, but because the people, especially the leaders, were so far from God’s plan for them. Jesus saw a time coming when Jerusalem would be destroyed and the leaders who thought they were great would be destroyed by their enemies.
This weekend we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry during an unprecedented time. There will be no celebrations of waving palm branches and shouts of Hosanna. Nor will there be excited conversations of this week’s preparations for a big celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. We may wonder if it’s worth celebrating at all.
My friends, we have an opportunity this week to see the world as Jesus did on the Mount of Olives. As we look out from our sadness over the celebrations we will be missing we will see a world outside our walls missing the very thing we celebrate this week.Look out over your neighborhood, or over the towns and cities you pass through if you’re out and about.
The uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a world to its knees that believed we could be in control of what happens around us. People are searching, not only for answers, but for the peace that comes with receiving salvation from Jesus and the peace beyond understanding that can only come from Him. We have an opportunity to weep as Jesus did for a world that is lost and searching, and to pray like never before.
- Pray for unexpected opportunities to talk to someone about Jesus and His gift of salvation.
- Pray for others who are in positions to share the good news with people in crisis every day.
- Pray that during this Holy week people, with Easter egg hunts and family celebrations out of the picture that people who are hurting will tune in to an online Easter service and find the peace they are looking for.
May this week be a week of revival, both in our hearts and around the world, bringing many more into God’s kingdom and closer to the peace only Jesus can offer.
Blessings and peace…