Summary: Using the event of the Triumphal Entry of Christ in Jerusalem, provides helps in decision making.
“When Emotion is Not Enough”
March 16, 2008
A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch. The little boy was curious and asked, "Why do you have that palm branch, dad?" "You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honor him, so we got Palm Branches today." The little boy replied, "Aw Shucks! The one
Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!"
Don’t be too hard on the little boy – they got it wrong the first Palm Sunday, too. Let’s take a look at the story of Jesus’ triumphal Entry in Jerusalem one again.
“After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ’Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ’The Lord needs it.’ "
Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" They replied, "The Lord needs it."
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 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!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
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.” Luke 19:28-42
There was a lot of emotion going on that first Palm Sunday. We think of the jubilation – the celebration of the King. People were happy! I think there were tears of joy as the people shouted praise to their King and Deliverer. Can you imagine what it must have been like? Have you ever been so caught up in your emotions that you broke a limb off a tree to wave – or taken your coat off for the esteemed person to walk on? The closest we come is when our favorite team wins a championship. Sometimes we will cheer and wave banners. After a victory and when soldiers come home – we parade them through the city streets and cheer wildly as confetti rains down on them. I think that’s about as close as we get.
These people were an oppressed people, ruled by harsh invaders of their country. They were a proud religious people – and now they really believed the Messiah had come to deliver them. They believed Jesus was going to set them free. That’s what the Bible said the Messiah would do.
Jesus WAS going to do all they wanted and more – but in His timing. He was going to free them from the bondage of sin and the penalty of rebellion – which was death. He was going to heal them of all their diseases and provide forgiveness of all their sins.
They didn’t realize all that. They were cheering the immediate Deliverer and Jesus would disappoint them in that regard. Maybe that is one of the reasons that they turned on Him so quickly and a week later He was crucified. Unfulfilled expectations cause disappointment and frustration and resentment – which quickly turns to anger.
But then there was Jesus’ emotion. If this had been you or me – the emotion would have been one of pride and joy. But not with Jesus. He knew the real score. And He wept. He looked over the sinful city of Jerusalem, the city of His beloved David, the City of God – and He wept over what was going to happen to it and what they would do.
I can never read this passage without wondering how many times Jesus has wept over me. I wonder how many times I have disappointed Him and brought Him to tears by my action. I know there were time when I was in the army in Korea. I know there were times in my youth. Probably a few time as an adult. I know there are times now when I do or say something stupid that Jesus must shake His head and sigh and say – “Oh, Andy, Andy. Are you ever going to learn?” Aren’t you glad that Jesus loves us so much that He weeps over us?