Summary: Today is Palm Sunday. And in Jesus' triumphal entry, and elsewhere, we see the emotional side of Jesus. What did it mean then and what does it mean for us today?
THE EMOTIONAL JESUS
In Our Griefshare group there has been a focus on the caring side of Jesus. It's important that we see the emotional aspect of Jesus. We need to understand that he is not just the Master of the Universe, he's not just the Savior, he's not just the King of kings and Lord of lords; he is also a caring, loving, emotional person. He's not just God-he was also a human.
Today is Palm Sunday. And in Jesus' triumphal entry, and elsewhere, we going to see the emotional side of Jesus. What did it mean then and what does it mean for us today?
1) From cheers to tears.
[Set-up triumphal entry] Luke 19:36-38, "As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
We see in Luke’s version it mentions the people laying down their cloaks but Matthew and Mark’s version states there were branches included in this and John 12:13 specifically mentions they were palm branches-hence Palm Sunday. Palm branches were used for festive occasions and to celebrate a victory. Here they did this in recognition of Jesus as the king who would deliver them.
We see in vs. 37 that they were cheering because of all the miracles they had seen. Not that it’s wrong to be joyful about Jesus’ miracles, but there’s a problem if that’s the entire substance of our praise. Yes, we need to praise him for the miraculous ways he works in our lives but not only that. We praise him for his love for us. We praise him for his patience with us. We praise him for his grace and mercy. We should praise him not just for what he’s done but also for who he is.
In vs. 38 they shouted, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". In the other Gospel accounts, this is preceded by the word, Hosanna. Hosanna means, “save us now”. The irony is that Jesus’ purpose was to save them but not in the way they were hoping for. They were looking for a political salvation. They were looking to Jesus to restore the literal kingdom back to how it was in the days of David and Solomon.
Their desire was understood. They were under Roman rule and they were desperate for the reestablishment of their own kingdom. But they failed to see their true need. They wanted to be politically free but they failed to see their need for spiritual freedom. This reality brought a reaction from Jesus they probably weren't expecting.
Vs. 41-44,"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. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
When Jesus approached the holy city, he may have been thinking of the meaning of, Jerusalem, which is taken from the words- yereh, he shall see, and shalom, peace or prosperity. He wept over his people's blindness to the fact they weren't seeing what would bring them true peace.
They thought their greatest need was for a political deliverance but their greatest need was for a spiritual deliverance. Their turmoil wasn’t brought on by the Romans so much as it was brought on by their sin. If only they looked to Jesus to bring the true peace they needed rather than thinking the external, political peace was the solution to their problems.
Are we looking to external things to solve our problems or are we looking to Jesus? Peace was hidden from their eyes because they were unwilling to look where it would be found.
Luke 13:34, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
They weren't willing to do it his way. They were not willing to accept his terms. Jesus could say this today. How he longs to gather the sinner under his wing, but so many are not willing. They don't see their need for spiritual freedom because they don't see themselves as sinfully bound.