|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. (Luke19:41-42)|
The Triumphal Entry is recorded in all four Gospels.
Matthew sees it as a fulfilment of prophecy and notes how Jesus healed many blind and lame in the temple courts. (Healing the blind was a sign of the Messiah). Matthew also notes that there were children singing praises in the temple - and when the Pharisees complain, Jesus comments: "have you never read, 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?" (A quote from Psalm 8)
Mark makes it clear that although Jesus visited the temple on Palm Sunday, it was only on Monday morning that he overturned the tables of the money changers and sacrifice sellers. This negates the argument that Jesus lost His temper in the temple. His actions were deliberate and focussed. The space that the traders and money-changers were in was the Court of the Gentiles. It was the only place in the temple where a non-Jew could go to pray. His desire and passion was that all could come to the Father.
John's account of the triumphal entry emphasises His Mission. Jesus makes it clear he is going to die for doing the Father's will: "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." (John 12:23-24). As He asks God to be glorified in Him, the Father answers: "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." - A clear sign pointing to the resurrection.
But Luke, who gives the most detailed account brings us an unusual insight. In the midst of the crowd crying Hosanna and the in the midst of the joyful and hopeful celebrations, Jesus weeps over the city. He weeps over their fickleness and unfaithfulness, over their shallow commitment and their bondage to darkness. He weeps because they will call for His crucifixion and take Him to the cross. He weeps over their brokenness and warns that even the faithful can harden their hearts...
This is why He goes to the cross...
What do you see at the start of this Holy Week?
- A Healer - More than a Man - heading to fulfil all the promises and bring us healing?
- A Passionate Saviour - Overturning tables so that we can be with God?
- The Son of God doing what the Father wants?
- A Son of God who loves us and weeps for us?
May we see Jesus in all His compassion, love and glory this Holy Week.