By Katherine Sloan
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls.They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:35-44 NIV)
Palm Sunday is a bittersweet occasion. It is the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, but it is also the beginning of the end of the life of Jesus. He knows that his crucifixion awaits Him in this city, but His followers, unaware, are praising and celebrating Him in this moment. Most likely they are thinking this is the beginning of His reign.
In this celebratory moment, however, we see the sorrow of Jesus as He looks at the city. He says that destruction is coming because they do not recognize the time of God coming to them. If the people had recognized Jesus for who He really was, that He had come to love them and to save them, surely they would not have chosen to crucify Him. But how often do we not recognize the time of God’s coming to us?
For years, the prophets had written of his coming, and the religious leaders had preached about it. His coming had been prophesied, but Luke 19:44 says it all. “…you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
What a tragedy to have God so close and our hearts so far. The one they had been waiting for was right there and they did not recognize Him. That broke His heart. They were so caught up in their religious rules and activities that they missed the opportunity for real relationship with Jesus.
Let us be a people who recognize God, who see Him at work, and who see Jesus and recognize Him when He’s coming to us.
Prayer: Let’s pray that we would recognize Jesus in our everyday moments. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to see Him, and to not miss the God-moments in your life.