By Pastor Robert Perez
The Triumphal Entry
37 And as he was drawing near – already on the way down the Mount of Olives – the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” – Luke, 19:37-40
On this day we celebrate The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem after his lengthy journey across the region preaching the words from His Father our Lord. As a Jew himself, Jesus was fulfilling the prophesy by which the chosen one would enter the city in this manner. But Jesus’ actions were not merely fulfilling the prophesy, they were an open display to get the attention of his people with the hopes that they again bear witness to Gods promise. But as his actions were clear for all to see, the truth that lay ahead was not the one hoped for.
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” – Luke 19:41-44
When Jesus was with us, we failed to see what God had delivered firsthand to us, the ability to stop the violence and hatred that plagued the world and make a new choice for love and peace. It was simple as that. But the people of that time did the opposite and turned on him, thus turning their hearts against God.
Jesus would soon reveal his true purpose to his disciples before his arrest, trial, torture and crucifixion. All caused by the people he came to save. If they had seen what was right before them, they could have stopped all of it. They instead chose not to believe. They had received more than enough evidence for Jesus’ divine connection to God and still they ignored it with fickle minds that were too easily changed even in the sight of miracles.
Today, thousands of years later, we still have that same choice to make. Are we going to believe or are we going to turn our back on God?
Only moments before Jesus’ arrival the crowds were singing his praise, but Jesus wept, because he knew it was fleeting and that their hearts were not truly in belief and would too easily give him up and even mock, torture and kill him. Hear Jesus’ words, ‘even you, who I gave everything to, do not accept me?’ He wept from a heart that was torn into pieces.
This Sunday before Easter, we rejoice and give thanks. On Easter we shall do the same. But what of the days between and after? We have the choice every single day to believe. Or do we find piety only on holidays? There is no need to be shy of the answer, we do not hold fast to our beliefs daily and just like those who were there we forsake God in the time between celebrations.
Today is great moment in our history and should be celebrated with loud joyous voices. But tomorrow should be no different, nor the next and the next after that. Our commitment to God and Jesus does not require anything more than a simple choice to believe and live as such, not with empty displays of faith on the outside, but with genuine love on the inside.
We must not be those that know better but ignore it. We must not be empty in praise, but instead be quiet with genuine sincerity. Keep the reminder of this day in your mind daily and say, ‘Jesus, I will receive you.’ If you believe that he will not turn his back on you, do not turn your back on him.
And as the enemy draws near and this day surrounds us on all sides, we will not be afraid, because we do see, and we do not forget or forsake.
Yes, praise be to our Lord now and every day in Jesus’ name. Amen.