We are familiar with the triumphal entry.
We are familiar with the palm branches.
We are familiar with the shouts of “Hosanna” and “Blessed.”
We are even familiar with the obscure passage from Zechariah 9:9 that speaks of a king that will arrive on the back of a donkey.
We are familiar with the triumphal entry. Yet, are we familiar with the whole story? Take a few minutes to read Luke’s telling of the story in Luke 19:28-44.
We need Paul Harvey to say, “… and now you know the rest of the story.”
We call it the triumphal entry because of the crowd that greets Jesus. We call it the triumphal entry because Jesus will soon save the world. Yet, with the crowd shouting and rejoicing, Jesus was weeping. Doesn’t sound very triumphant, does it?
Jesus weeps because a crowd is shouting “Blessed” but a crowd will soon shout “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Some will embrace. Some will reject. The thought of it makes Jesus weep. Not for what it will mean for him. Rather, for what it will mean for those who do not recognize the time of God’s coming to them.
Jesus sees people rejecting all that God has to offer and it drives him to weep.
The triumphal entry passage begins by Jesus telling his disciples what they will encounter when they go to obtain a donkey. And Jesus was right. It happened just has he foretold. The triumphal entry passage ends with Jesus telling his audience about the destruction that will come to the city of Jerusalem. Guess what? He was right on that one as well. The history books record the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans in 70AD. Jesus knew it was coming and he wept.
All four gospels tell us the story. Luke is the only gospel that does not reference palm branches. He’s making a different point. Reading Luke’s telling of the story highlights Jesus’ reaction – not the reaction of the crowd.
God weeping. Yes, God. Jesus makes no bones about it here. He makes the claim that he is God – and unashamedly weeps. Sounds strange, huh? Well, it shouldn’t because it not the only time it’s mentioned in the Scriptures.
We have the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35. Jesus has arrived at the scene of the death of his friend Lazarus. John 11:35 tells us plainly and powerfully, “Jesus wept.”
The same Jesus who wept at Lazarus’ grave stands by your side today. The same Jesus who wept over the city of Jerusalem stands by your side this morning. Yes, it’s Palm Sunday and Jesus is still weeping over us. He is touched by our brokenness. Yet, he loves us to the point that he refuses to leave us broken.
He entered Jerusalem that day and would soon find himself upon a cross. Upon that cross he bore the sins of the world. God weeps with the broken. Yet, he provides a way for the broken to be healed.
Yet, here is the question you need to answer: Are you a disciple shouting, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord” or are you one who has not recognized the time of God’s coming to you? I pray that you recognize God in the person of Jesus Christ, the one who left heaven and took of flesh. The one who walked among us and rode into Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey. The one who bore our sins on the cross.