Holy Week - Day 2
39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
41 But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”
The Weeping King
John Reeves | Lead Pastor
Jesus accepted the worship of His followers as He approached the city of Jerusalem on a colt. There was much jubilation as He was coronated…until the Pharisees arrived to rebuke Him for accepting worship. In a sharp retort, Jesus simply tells the Pharisees that “if they (His followers) kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”.
Essentially Jesus says to them, “I am the Creator and King. No matter how you’ve set yourselves against me, My creation will worship Me.” And then there is this moment. It’s as if He realized how hard the people’s hearts toward Him really were. He looks up and sees the city of Jerusalem and begins to weep for them.
His weeping is not because Jerusalem will be destroyed 40 years later by the Romans. It is not because He will be rejected by the crowds, falsely accused, unjustly tried and convicted and then beaten beyond recognition. It’s not even because He will die in just a few days. None of those. His weeping is because they do not “understand the way to peace” with God. That they “did not recognize it when God visited [them].”
This could be said of us in Lexington, South Carolina today. As we look toward Good Friday and forward to Easter just beyond, Jesus’ words on that day, should ring in our ears on this day. While His prophecy over the fall of Jerusalem was harsh judgment and condemnation, His words on the conditions of the hearts of the people of Jerusalem should bring us great pause. Have we realized that “the way to peace” is only through the Creator King? Have we become so hardened to His call that “peace is hidden from [our] eyes”? Are we a people who have not recognized when “God visited”?
If there is any realization more terrifying than that we have missed when God visited us, I’m not sure what it might be. Jesus has extended an offer of peace with God, of complete cleansing and forgiveness of our sins, and eternal life in His Kingdom. He lived a perfect life here on earth amongst His creation and then bled and died to remove our rightful punishment by God the Father. He sent us the gift of the Holy Spirit to live within our hearts to guide, comfort and keep us as His children until He returns. He has clearly come all the way for us.
And the question that begs to be answered today is: Have you recognized that God has visited us in the person of Jesus Christ? Have you bent your knee to Him and called Him King and Master? As we consider how Jesus wept over the destruction of Jerusalem, it is a good day to remind ourselves that it was not for the destruction of the city that He wept, but instead for the hearts of those who had missed recognizing Him as Lord.