Now we are at the eve of Palm Sunday when most of the multitudes have dispersed, and Christ is with His disciples and a group of His followers who had remained with Him that day. They are descending the Mount of Olives, at the edge of Jerusalem.
He was grieving. The approach of death troubled Jesus. Despite the praising at His entrance earlier, He had been engaged in sober vision, and grave reflection.
Not only did He possess in His mind all of the incredulous details of His own violent death, but also the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, decades from this night. Christ was Jewish, and He loved His people. He was distressed to the depths of His soul, and this vision caused Him to weep over Jerusalem.
Many righteous people celebrate Christ's "triumphant entry into Jerusalem" on Palm Sunday, and may not realize His sorrows later that evening. It is on the evening of Palm Sunday. Let us read the prophecy of Christ in Scripture:
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.”Christ knew these things because He is Deity. He predicted that Israel would suffer judgment by terrible destruction on Jerusalem.
When He spoke about a barricade, or an embankment, He was describing this terrible siege where even children would die and buildings would be destroyed.
He envisioned the ruins of Jerusalem, and indeed, it came to fruition approximately a generation later.
In 70 A.D., decades after Christ was crucified and resurrected, Rome successfully conquered Jerusalem under the rule of Titus. This is an historical fact.
|Destruction of Jerusalem|
On the evening of Palm Sunday, the same voices who have been raised in acclamation will be turned against Him. The triumph of the day would be for Him a modest image of a greater glory and of a more vast domain in the days ahead: glory for anguish, an unbearable anguish.
These sorrowful sentiments that troubled our Lord for His own death were no less than for Jerusalem.
To have foresight of this kind, to foresee a generation of people 68 years after His own death, He possessed not only inexplicable capacities of a great prophet, and the intelligence of a brilliant man, but also, undeniably, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, God.
His death will not triumph except through His resurrection. Amen.