This week in the church calendar is known as Holy Week – the week in which Jesus was crucified; the week that started with people throwing their coats and palm branches on the road as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, and they shouted:
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in the highest!
If I had been there I wonder what I would have felt. Would my body be tingling with excitement thinking that finally all my troubles would be over, since a new king had come? Would I have been hoping he'd heal me of my achy muscles or weak eyes?
Some Pharisees in the crowd must have gotten tired of hearing the shouts, because Luke 19:39 tells us that they asked Jesus to rebuke those who were praising him. Here is what he answered:
I tell you,
if these were silent,
the very stones would cry out.
It has been said that some of these people are the same ones who later in the week cried, “Crucify him!” I'm not sure. Jesus had a lot of followers, but he also had enemies, namely the religious leaders. They may have influenced some of these same people, but we really have no proof of that.
Some of them may have questioned why he was riding on a donkey's colt. This was not how a king came to conquer, but that didn't deter them from praising him. As they neared the city, I wonder if anyone noticed when he stopped to look down over Jerusalem. I wonder if anyone noticed when he begin to weep and say,
Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 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 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: 42-44)
What compassion he had! He knew what was coming and it made him weep for the people of Jerusalem. I have compassion for people and my heart goes out to them when I hear of troubles and sicknesses, but what I feel is so small compared to Jesus. I pray that he would open my heart to love as he loves.
Part 2 can be found HERE.