Alexis Waid
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Jesus’ Triumphant Entry | Luke 19:28-44 NLT

28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” 34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!

    Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

41 But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”

Have you ever predicted the outcome to ongoing circumstances that other’s just can’t see?


This situation often occurs for parents when we help our children see and understand future consequences that kids simply cannot. For example, if a child jumps on a table and walks to the edge, they are likely to fall and get really hurt. But the child doesn’t anticipate problems with dancing on the table – they need a parent to warn them.

Or if a child picks a berry off a bush in the park, they might think it’s going to be delicious, but if they eat it, they could get sick (or worse). But they don’t understand the difference between a berry provided at breakfast and one they find growing outside. They need a parent to caution and protect them.

So much of parenting is protecting kids from themselves!

Children are usually unaware of dangers or even the realities of this world. They are naive and need our guidance to help them navigate this world.

A good parent is one who sees into the future, and all the possible dangers, and protects their kids from it. Because children often can’t see the reality of circumstances in the way that adults are able.

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem described in Luke 19 is really not what we often think it is.


We often envision it as a glorious moment in Jesus’ ministry, but His response to the praise wasn’t joy, but rather a sorrowful premonition and tears. Like a good parent seeing the dangers in waiting, Jesus looked past the seeming “good time” and knew the truth of what was to come.

We often get lost in the acclaim from the crowd on Palm Sunday. But in Luke’s depiction, there is something very serious going on – it was the depths of Jesus’ heart and what He was feeling. Let’s look at the text one more time, specifically Luke 19:41-44

41 But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”

After all of the exuberance and praise from the people, Jesus’ response was weeping. Weeping over Jerusalem.

Imagine it for a moment. This is supposed to be your best day ever. People are finally publicly recognizing you for who you are and what you do! But instead of being moved to excitement by their praise, your heart is instead troubled because you know the people’s acclaim is fickle and it won’t be long until your life is over.

Jesus came for one reason: to bring sin-drenched humanity back to God.

Jesus was the only way to rectify what happened back in the Garden with Adam and Eve.

Throughout history, God had staged this very moment – a prophecy that He will send His Son, the Messiah, to rescue the people of God. And for centuries, the tribe of Israel hunted for this spoken agent of God.

But they missed Him, because they had a preconceived notion of who He would be… and Jesus didn’t fit that picture.

I think that happens to a lot of us. We have these mental images of who God is, but when He shows up and does something differently than we expected, we have a hard time receiving or even recognizing it is Him. This is exactly what Jesus was weeping over.

Palm Sunday Devotion | Passion Week Devotions | Holy Week Devotional

Although it isn’t directly depicted in the New Testament, we know from historical records that Jerusalem and the Temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 AD, approximately 40 years after Jesus’ death. Jesus knew the Temple would be destroyed and all that Jerusalem knew and loved would be taken from them.

Jesus spent His earthly ministry trying to help people turn to Him and avoid the self-destruction that comes from a life apart from God. Jesus wished the people of Israel would have turned from their ill-conceived notions idea of who God’s messiah would be and see instead that He was, in fact, God’s Son. Rather than a crusading king like the people were expecting, Jesus’ message was radical and different, focusing on love, forgiveness, and the restoration of outcast people.

To Jerusalem, Jesus didn’t seem like the God that the tribe of Israel knew and followed. But… that’s the mystery of God. He is always turning things on its head! Jesus loves the people that we’re inclined to judge and struggle to show compassion. He restores people from deep pain rather than casting them off. Jesus’ ministry was ludicrous to many people because it centered on offering pure love to those who would receive it.

And believe it or not, the people who would best receive it were the unclean people, the social outcast, the disease-ridden – not the church people. In fact, it was the church leadership that had the most trouble with Jesus and who He was hanging out with.

The bottom line is that our God has endless love and we see that very clearly through Jesus. Jesus’ message is hard and that’s why so many people couldn’t recognize Him or follow Him.

So today, on Palm Sunday, I pose an important question to begin Passion Week: What might you be missing or misunderstanding about Jesus? Where is there a blindspot in your walk? Is there something that Jesus might be weeping over in your life, wishing you would follow Him in? Is there something that He is trying to protect you from, but you just won’t listen?

This question isn’t to bring shame, but it is instead an opportunity to bring your concerns before God and allow Him to lead you through. God can do so much with a humble, truthful, and willing heart.

Spiritual Practice

Place yourself in the story with Jesus. Walk with Him in your prayerful imagination and stay with Him when He weeps over Jerusalem. Be with Him in this often missed point in His journey during Passion Week and see what He has to say to you. What does He want to show you this week?

Prayer

Precious Jesus,

Thank you for your tender heart, that your heart feels things like my heart does. I’m sorry for when I haven’t recognized you, and Lord, I truly want to see you more. I need you so much and want to love you even more. I am wonderfully indebted you for your sacrifice. I pray that I honor you all my days and that your death and resurrection will never be wasted in and through me. Thank you my Lord, Amen.

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Palm Sunday Devotion | Passion Week Devotions | Holy Week Devotional

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Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.