Based on Biblical Text Luke 19:28-41
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it…
Palm Sunday has long been a celebration of victory for the Christian church. There are few Christians unfamiliar with the story of Jesus riding triumphantly into Jerusalem while the crowd of Passover participants worshipped Him. Even the disciples got caught up in the moment of praise, saying “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord”, while the crowd reverently threw palm branches and their garments on the ground as a sign of victory for the Man many now called their king.
But that is usually where the story ends. Few ever read the very next verse of the story – the one that is the focus of this text. Verse 41 says, “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it…” While the people were crying Hosanna, meaning “save, I pray thee”, Jesus was weeping.
What was it that caused Jesus to weep? It was the spiritual deprivation of His Father’s chosen people. Jesus wept for what Jerusalem might have been. Jesus wept for the lost potential, not just in the city, but in the people of the city. Jesus lamented over the sin and depravity that held His people in bondage. He was concerned about the pain they found themselves in as a consequence of their sin. Jesus wept because the people He loved did not realize who He was, or WHOSE He was.
Jesus wept as He was aware that few people, if any, realized that His journey on a donkey through the streets of the Holy City, was yet another prophecy fulfilled. They seemed to have forgotten the words of the prophet Zechariah who said, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy king cometh unto thee; He is just and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass; and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9).
Jesus wept because He cared. Jesus still cares for us, the same way He cared for the throngs of people celebrating the Passover on that day. He cares about our sin and our pain. Jesus not only cares every time we turn away from Him, it also causes Him to weep. Jesus knows how wonderful life could be for us if only we would give our heart over to Him. Jesus desires our heart and not our reprobate mind. Jesus weeps because He knows our full potential.
Jesus sees who we are but “looks beyond our fault” and sees our full potential. He knows where our bounty lies and the path we must take that leads to eternal joy. To get there we must be willing to break away from the crowd and follow Him. We must willingly accept Jesus’ invitation to “go off alone” with Him.
Jesus is not looking at what we are. Rather, He sees what we can be. His focus is on what we can become with His help. The warning for us is simple. We can attempt to make our way through life without Him, but we will always miss His mark. Without Jesus we will always miss the goal He has in mind for us. Jesus’ purpose for us is not only that we would achieve academically, socially and financially, Jesus intends that we achieve spiritually. Jesus desires that we would rise above the level of average, and become a spiritual giant. It is Jesus’ desire for us to rise to a level achieving the things “the world” cannot promise us.
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, March 24 is Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday).
Join our Worship Experience at 8:00 and 11:00 am. Church school begins at 9:45 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday
There is a Word from the Lord!
Sermon Text Psalm 118:1 and Luke 19:37-38
Sermon Title Missing the Messiah