Joshua 19: 1-20:9; Luke 19:28-48; Psalm 88:1-18; Proverbs 13:12-14
Jesus’ journey is nearly at an end. The final approach to Jerusalem fulfills the words of the prophet Zechariah 500 years earlier: “Behold your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9
Jesus rides on amid waving palm branches and the shouts of the crowd. The disciples echo the words of the angels who announced Jesus’ birth 33 years before, “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” Luke 19:38
And…the Pharisees in the crowd, nip at his heels, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 19:39
Praise and rebuke. Hosannas and harsh commands.
Jesus kept riding…
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.” 19: 41-42
Jesus looks at the center of Jewish worship–of Jewish life–and sees the spiritual emptiness–the futility of man’s efforts to live by the law–the hypocrisy of religious leaders–and he weeps.
He who brings peace–weeps.
Jesus looks at our world and weeps. He weeps for those who deceive themselves thinking there is no God-‘Why would a loving God let innocent people suffer and die from bombs and guns and drugs and disasters?’ He weeps for those who believe that they are ‘good enough’ yet fail to see their need for a Savior to save them from their sins.
Yes, Jesus weeps.
And so do we. We weep for loved ones who have yet to know the peace that Christ brings. We weep for the suffering who have no hope.
We weep–and pray.
We who know how the Jerusalem story ends–with Christ’s triumphant victory over sin and death–pray.
Lord God, Jesus looked at Jerusalem and wept. He saw the future of that great city and he mourned knowing that in 40 years its walls would be destroyed and its peoples scattered. Just as we know how the end will be–with Christ coming to judge the peoples of the earth–we pray for those who do not know you as their Lord and Savior. We pray that they will hear your Good Word, learn of Jesus, and live. Send us on our way, O Lord, to share the story of your salvation. For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.
“O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.” Psalm 88:1-2