By Justin Rossow
37 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: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 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. 43 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. 44 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.” Luke 19:37-44
The scene is dramatic: in the midst of a plethora of praise, the Savior King climbs the hill outside Jerusalem. From this vantage point, the whole city lies magnificently before Him. The Temple gleams in the late afternoon sun. Shouts of joy shake the countryside. And the hero . . . weeps. He sobs. He deeply mourns the tragedy played out in front of Him.
Don’t get the wrong idea: Jesus isn’t mourning the coming cross. He will shed those tears later; He will weep only a stone’s throw from where His donkey now crests this hill, down in a garden in the valley. But for now, Jesus is not mourning His own suffering and death; He mourns the death of people He loves.
Jesus comes as the King who brings true peace, but His kingdom is hidden even from those who shout praises. Each blessing, each shout of joy cuts like a knife; for although they rightfully acclaim this King, they will utterly reject the kingdom He comes to bring. And that rejection will ultimately lead to their own destruction.
The gentle heart of Jesus is revealed as He weeps over the same people who will nail Him to a tree. That tender compassion is exactly what Jesus feels for you. Jesus wants you to know peace, true peace; Jesus wants you to welcome your King; Jesus wants His kingdom to be YOUR kingdom, now and forever.
So this humble King completes His journey. He climbs the difficult hill to the throne of the cross. He bows His head to be crowned with thorn. And in that sacrificial moment, His Kingdom comes; for you.