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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Event Spotlight

Palm Sunday - Jesus Was Weeping!

Luke 19:28-44

Jesus stops for a moment & sends 2 of his disciples ahead of Him into a nearby village to carry out a special errand. Here is how Luke records that event:

A. The 2 disciples must have wondered about what Jesus told them to do, because none of the Gospel accounts about the ministry of Christ ever mention Him riding any animal to get from one place to another. He must have walked hundreds of miles up & down the land we now call the "Holy Land," but there is no mention of Him ever riding, except in a boat across the Sea of Galilee.

B. It is obvious, though, that Jesus knew what He was going to face in the city of Jerusalem. So His decision to go into Jerusalem must have been one of the most difficult Jesus ever made.

And on top of that, to ride into the city on a colt, rather than to walk into it as He had often done before, must have been an even more difficult decision, because riding a colt into the city was a public declaration that He was a King.

ILL. You see, in times of war the conqueror would ride upon a prancing stallion. But in times of peace, the king would ride a colt to symbolize that peace prevailed. So, for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem upon a colt is to declare that He is a King.


Would they recognize that His Kingdom was not of this world - that it was a spiritual kingdom, & He was to be a spiritual King? Probably not, because He had been teaching them that for 3 1/2 years, & they still had not learned that lesson.

A. Perhaps some of them would greet Him with laughter. Maybe they would be amused by what Jesus was doing. After all, it was a rather ridiculous picture. Here is a carpenter declaring Himself to be a King!

Perhaps some would think, "He is a lunatic, living in a world of fantasy - imagining Himself to be a King!" And they would laugh at him.

B. Others would greet Him with anger - upset because they would interpret His riding into the city as arrogance & blasphemy against God.

C. Of course, many would hail Him with joy, welcoming Him as an earthly King, come to reestablish the throne of David, & overthrow the Roman Empire. They were ready & eager to place a crown upon His head.

D. Among the crowds would be people He had healed. Some had been among the thousands He had fed. Many more had seen some of His miracles, & listened as "He spoke with authority." They had listened, & their lives had been changed.

Jesus knew all of this. He knew that just over the horizon was the cross, looming like a monster ready to consume Him. But Luke tells us that in spite of it all, Jesus still "...set His face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem."


As Jesus rides down toward the gate of the city, the crowds are growing, & there is a festive air, for it is Passover & pilgrims are gathering from far & near for this greatest of all Jewish holidays.

A. Even before Jesus arrives, the news has spread that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. You can imagine the excitement that prevails.

"Have you heard the news? Lazarus died, & was buried in a tomb so long that his body was starting to decay. But this teacher from Nazareth called, `Lazarus, come forth’ & Lazarus came forth. I saw him! They stripped away the grave clothing, & he actually walked & breathed & lived again! Surely only the Messiah - only the Son of God could do that!"

The news travels from one person to another, until finally when Jesus was ready to enter the city, great crowds had collected on both sides of the road. They were there! They had cut palm branches & were shouting, "Hosanna to the king!" Excitement prevailed throughout the whole city!

B. Then Jesus looked over His waiting audience. He must have seen the mixture of expressions on their faces.

1. There were those who loved Him: Perhaps Bartimaeus was there, a man who had received his sight, no longer in his beggar’s rags. How about Zacchaeus? He had paid back his debt to society, & had made his peace with God. And the lepers? Their skin had been cleansed & now they were rejoicing for the healing that the Lord had given them.

ILL. Maybe Jairus’ daughter was there - back to life again after experiencing death. Lazarus & Mary & Martha & Mary Magdalene - they were all there! Their lives reflected the love that was in their hearts for this man who had taught them, & molded them & changed them.

ILL. The Sadducees & Pharisees were there. They were supposed to be keepers of the law, the spiritual leaders. But Jesus had gained so much popularity that they felt threatened. So, full of jealousy, they watched Him.

ILL. The Romans were there, fearing revolt & watching for any sign of rebellion against Rome. They were ready & waiting to crush any uprising.

Jesus realized, as He listened to their "Hosannas," that soon the threatening voices would drown out the voices of love - that those crying for Him to be King would soon be crying, "Crucify Him!" or simply standing aside, saying nothing at all.

C. Now Jesus is descending along the road from the Mt. of Olives, across the brook, toward the gate, the crowds thronging around Him.

They were all there in Jerusalem - loving faces - threatening faces - anxious apostles. Crowds trampling almost one upon another - when suddenly - the whole procession stopped.


ILL. Do you suppose it could have been a little like rush hour traffic on the big city expressway? One car stops, then all the other cars stop, like a chain reaction. I can just hear the people way back in the crowd that day saying, "What’s the holdup? What is going on? Why don’t you guys move on?"

A. But the people who were closest to Jesus could see - & they realized that it was He who had stopped the parade. Then they saw His body begin to shake. Maybe at first they thought He was laughing. Laughter would seem to be natural - for everybody else was laughing, & joy prevailed.

But then they saw His face, & they saw no evidence of laughter. Rather, they saw sorrow & tears. He was not laughing. He was crying.

B. The Scripture tells us that Jesus reacted emotionally many times from different scenes that He saw. When He saw the poor. When He saw the hungry. When He saw people sinning. When He saw the ill. The Scriptures say repeatedly that "...He had compassion on them."

But it only tells us of two times that Jesus cried. One time He cried at the grave of Lazarus. You remember, Mary & Martha were both weeping, & it says that Jesus wept with them. He wept for them. He entered into their grief with compassion & He identified with their sorrow & despair.


This was the 2nd occasion. He looked at the city of Jerusalem. He saw the mixture of faces & the masses of humanity crowding there - & He realized the emptiness of their lives. They had not heard the message of peace. They did not understand the purpose of His coming.

Listen as I read Luke 19:41-44.

They had eyes, but they didn’t see. They had ears, but they didn’t hear. They missed the whole point of the message that God had given to them.

A. The fact they waved palm branches showed that they didn’t understand, because that is exactly what they did when the Maccabees overthrew the Syrian oppressors & reestablished worship in the temple.

By waving palm branches they were showing that they expected Jesus to be another warlord - another general of the armies - one who would lead them to overthrow the Romans. They were saying that they were ready to pick up their swords & shields & go to war if He would lead them!

B. Jesus said, "I didn’t come for that purpose. I came to show you a more excellent way. I came to show you the way of love." He had said, "Love your enemies & pray for those who persecute you. If someone smites you on the cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone wants your coat, give him your shirt as well. If they command you to carry their pack a mile, go two."

C. The nation of Israel had the opportunity to show Rome something new & different. But because they didn’t understand Jesus - because they completely misunderstood His mission - Jesus wept over them because the opportunity would be taken away & they would never have it again.

These were God’s people - God’s chosen people. God had loved them & led them across the wilderness & into the Promised Land. But they did not understand the Messiah when He walked in their midst. Because of that, Jesus wept.

D. What a contrast! As He sits upon the beast of burden, He sees the towering Temple of God silhouetted against the sky. But beyond that - in the years immediately ahead - He sees the armies of Titus surrounding the Holy City. He sees Temple stones being taken down & the whole city leveled.

He sees bodies in the streets & blood running in the gutters & hundreds of thousands of people crying because they are starving to death while Titus waits for Jerusalem to surrender.

All of that because they didn’t recognize the Messiah when He came! How different their lives could have been. How different the history of Israel could have been if they had only recognized the one who came into their midst, riding on a colt.

It is Matthew who adds that as Jesus looked at the city He said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. How often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings. But you would not come."

Today, just like the city of Jerusalem, we find ourselves in the presence of Jesus. I wonder what He finds when He looks into our faces?

Does He see people concerned about so many things - worried about job security - worried about their health, or lack of it? Does He see people who are so busy doing things here & there - so busy that they never bother to consider those things that are eternally important?

Does he see people who recognize Him for who He is? The Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God?

When He turns & looks into our lives, I wonder, will He weep once again because of what He sees?

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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928