‘Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”’ (Luke 19:41-45)
Here we are, Palm Sunday, a wonderful day to remember the victorious ride of Christ on a colt, in to Jerusalem, as part of the Passion of Easter. Can we really imagine the scene? The city has come our and declared praises to Jesus, and honouring as the coming Messiah. Waving palms, and laying them and clothes before His path, the red carpet treatment fitting for the King. Men, women, and children..even infants…casting aside societal fears, and religious pressures, abandoned themselves to selfless worship.
And yet here is our Lord, watching all this, humbly riding in on a donkey, knowing that within the week He will be crucified for our sins, and betrayed by a city who so openly adore Him on this day. He even shred this knowledge with His closet friends, and yet they could not understand…or did not want to hear…and like many were probably so excited to see the outpouring of praise. Christ, only found comfort, understanding, and support from His heavenly Father, our God, and the ministering angels.
Even amongst such unrestrained adoration, with people crying,
“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’[d]
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”,
our Lord watches over Jerusalem and weeps. Just so humbling. He sees our hearts, and is not deceived by hype, momentary adulation, or declarations of praise that come with self-motivation, or shallow roots, and yet He still weeps.
Perhaps if the disciples had understanding, they would have also remembered a similar time not so long go. For the Lord had sent them out, seventy of them, two by two, before Him, releasing them in His anointing, and declaring…
‘Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”’ (Luke 10:8-16).
They came back celebrating what the Lord had done through them in the villages, the Lord Jesus also rejoicing with them, but then in that same moment this declaration would have been ringing in their ears. Such a contrast to the celebrations they were having. Today, the city that was the basis of His Galilean ministry, where all were healed by Christ, is virtually no more, and thus this prophecy fulfilled.
Surely we need to respond in humility and grace, thanking Him for His love, and come before our Father (in Christ) and intercede for those who have seen Him, praised Him, being healed by Him, and yet did not see the day of their visitation, and chose to reject Him….interceding then for us all, and countering the spirit of entitlement and complacency. In humility we must know He is not deceived, and unlike some lying voices who claim Christ does not deal with unrighteous behaviour now..let us remember that Jerusalem was destroyed only 40 years after His ascension, and the towns of Chorazin and Capernuam are largely now just ruins and dusty ground.
Let us join in intercession, and seek His grace such that we know the time of visitation, and remain vigilant, watching for Christ.
‘”Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?” And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.’ (Luke 12:40-44)