Today we will consider Jesus’ final entry into the city of Jerusalem before his crucifixion. Up to this point, Jesus had been avoiding the major cities because “his time had not yet come.” But now he arrives at the biggest city at the biggest moment. The crowds were pouring into the city for the Feast of Passover. The atmosphere was electric. Just days before, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. Everyone was hoping for a glimpse of Jesus. As he approached the city, they lined the road. They waved the palm branches as the symbol of Jewish independence. They shouted “Hosanna” as a cry of political revolt. They were acknowledging him as the King.
But despite the apparent euphoria, all was not well. As Jesus crested over the Mount of Olives and looked over the city, he wept loudly and proclaimed, “If you , even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42). They were looking for peace in all the wrong places. They had misunderstood their true dilemma. For the Pharisees, it was the raucous crowds that threatened their life of ease and privilege. For the Jewish people, it was the Romans who threatened their freedom.
But their real problem was their sin. And the peace they really needed was peace and reconciliation with God. Jesus would not enter the city that day on a white stallion—but on a donkey. He was a conquering King. But he would defeat the greatest enemy (sin and death)—not through military might—but through his death on the cross.
Is it possible that Jesus is crying for you? Is it possible that you have missed the reason that Jesus came? Is it possible that you have misidentified your real problem? Are you looking to Jesus to make your life easier? Are you looking to Jesus to defeat your political enemies? Are you looking to Jesus to fix your financial woes? Or are you looking to Jesus as the Savior of your sins?
Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_L%27entr%C3%A9e_du_Christ_%C3%A0_J%C3%A9rusalem_-_cadre.jpg