He wept over it . . .

Palm Sunday didn’t end with hallelujahs. Those shouts of praise drew this reaction:

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
Luke 19:39–44

He Wept Over It, Flevit Super Illam
This week will see more conflict and unrelenting tension as Jesus teaches at the Temple and confronts the Jewish leaders. Luke is the only gospel writer to describe Jesus weeping over Jerusalem after this week’s initial confrontation with the Pharisees. Douglas Huffman puts this event into context.

“The three stories leading up to the entry—the blind man crying out “Son of David” (Luke 18:35- 43), Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10); and the parable of the pounds [minas] (Luke 19:11-27)—follow immediately after one of Jesus’ key passion predictions (Luke 18:31-34) and connect directly to the triumphal entry story (Luke 19:28-44). Strauss’s overview of this introduction to the triumphal entry is worth repeating here.

“In summary, Luke like Mark uses the son of David cry of the blind man outside Jericho to prepare the reader for Jesus’ royal entrance into Jerusalem and his passion and death as king of the Jews. But, in contrast with Mark, Luke introduces two pericopes between these events which serve to clarify Jesus’ messianic role and ministry. In the Zacchaeus story, Jesus’ messianic role is seen not as the conquering son of David of contemporary Judaism…dealing with retribution to Israel’s enemies but rather as the compassionate Son of man seeking and saving the lost (i.e. the role of the messiah as set out in Luke 4:18-19, 7:20-23). Then, in the parable of the pounds [minas], the nature of Jesus’ kingly authority and reign is presented not as the immediate establishment of an earthly kingdom on earth but rather as a departure to receive kingly authority, followed by a still future return in judgment.”

“As for the triumphal entry itself, these same themes are confirmed by the manner in which Luke recounts the event. Recalling the blind man healed in Jericho, people at the triumphal entry recognize Jesus as royalty and praise God “for all the mighty works that they had seen.” Recalling the Zacchaeus story and Jesus’ openness to receiving all who believe and respond, Luke alone describes the people at the triumphal entry as “the whole multitude of the disciples.” Recalling the parable of the pounds [minas] and the separation of those devoted to the king and those opposed to him, Luke alone reports the Pharisaic anxiety at the triumphal entry about Jesus’ identity. The time for ultimate judgment does not come when Jesus reaches Jerusalem (nor even after the resurrection when he is in Jerusalem; see Acts 1:6). But judgment day is coming. This is the emphasis of how Luke closes the triumphal entry episode with a uniquely Lukan account of Jesus’ sorrow over Jerusalem. It was not merely over the bricks of the walls and buildings that Jesus mourned, for it was not merely over those things that he is Messiah King.”1

Jesus wept for the hard-headed, hard-hearted, unrepentant people.

Enrique Simonet, Flevit super illam (He wept over it). {PD-1923}.
1Douglas H. Huffman, “Receiving Jesus as Messiah King: A Synoptic Study on the Way to Luke’s Triumphal Entry Account,” The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 16.3 (Fall 2012) 11.

Original content: Copyright ©2014–2020 Iwana Carpenter

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The Shout of Palm Sunday

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:10

Tissot, The Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem

After He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’”

So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord has need of it.” They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it. As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road. As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Luke 19:28–38

As Jesus entered Jerusalem the Sunday before He was crucified, all four Gospels record the crowds shouting the words of Psalm 118:26:

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord

This won’t be the only appearance of Psalm 118 this week. Not only does the crowd shout it to Jesus, Jesus will quote it as He confronts the Pharisees, and in all likelihood Psalm 118 will be sung by Jesus the evening before He dies.

The ongoing use this week of the psalm is significant because Psalm 118 is a Passover psalm. It was sung in remembrance and praise to God for delivering His people from their slavery to the Egyptians. It’s one of six psalms, Psalms 113–118, known as the Egyptian Hallel,1 traditionally sung at Passover.

Hallel means “Praise,” and Hallelujah means “Praise the Lord.”2 On Palm Sunday this Passover psalm was sung in praise to the Passover Lamb who came to deliver His people from their slavery to sin.

The shout of Palm Sunday anticipated the joy of Easter morning.

James Tissot, The Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem (Le cortège dans les rues de Jérusalem) Brooklyn Museum.
1, 2Derek Kidner, Psalms 73–150 (Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England: 1975) 383, 401 & 383.

Original content: Copyright ©2014–2020 Iwana Carpenter

Posted in Easter, Jesus Christ, Joy, Judgment, Love, Sin | Tagged , | Leave a comment