Palm Sunday: Jesus Wept
Today's sermon by Rev Raymond Wong is from Matt 27:15 and Luke 19:26-44.
Matt 27:15 (ESV)
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted.
Luke 19:26-44 (ESV)
26 "I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.'"
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples,
30 saying, "Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.
31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' you shall say this: 'The Lord has need of it.'"
32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.
33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
34 And they said, "The Lord has need of it."
35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.
36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.
37 As he was drawing near--already on the way down the Mount of Olives--the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen,
38 saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples."
40 He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
42 saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side
44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation."
Only twice is it recorded in Scriptures that Jesus wept, once at Lazarus' tomb (John 11:35) and here in Luke 19:41, where he wept for Jerusalem.
The people on the other hand welcomed him with cloaks and leafy branches spread on the ground for him instead of carpets, in honour of him as a king. They shouted and cried out to him, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!" (Mark 11:9-10). "Hosanna!" i.e. "Save us Lord, we beseech thee!" They expect Jesus, of course, now to set up his rule in opposition to that of Caesar, to drive Rome out of Palestine, to conquer the world for the Jews.
And it only took them 5 days to change their minds about Jesus. No more shouts of Hosannas. Instead they wailed, "Crucify him! Crucify him! Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!"
What about us? Will Jesus weep over us? What is our expectations? Do we aim for what they aimed for or do we yearn for what Jesus yearns for?
For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
~ Matt 6:32-33
Picture by Daniel Clarke