Luke 19:28-48 (NIV)
The Triumphal Entry
“At last Jerusalem, the temple city in which the greatest and holiest drama on earth will be staged the following week, is in immediate vicinity.”
–Norval Geldenhuys (minister in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa)
28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.'”
32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37When 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:
38“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!
Psalm 92:4 (Amplified Bible)
For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your works; at the deeds of Your hands I joyfully sing.
39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
41As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They 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.”
The historian Josephus describes in detail the embankment around Jerusalem; how it utterly shut up the city before the Romans totally destroyed them (Wars of the Jews, 5.12.1-3).
From Josephus: “All hope of escaping was now cut off from the Jews, together with their liberty of going out of the city. Then did the famine widen its progress, and devour the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms of women and infants that were dying by famine, and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also, and the young men wandered about the market places like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead wheresoever their misery seized them. For a time the dead were buried; but afterwards, when they could not do that, they had them cast down from the wall into the valleys beneath. When Titus, on going his rounds along these valleys, saw them full of dead bodies, and the thick putrefaction running about them, he gave a groan, and spreading out his hands to heave, called God to witness this was not his doing.” (Cited in Spurgeon. He adds: “There is nothing in history to exceed this horror. But even this is nothing compared with the destruction of a soul.”)
Jesus at the Temple
45Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. 46“It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'”
Haggai 2:9 (NASB)
“And in this place I will give peace,” declares the LORD of hosts.
47Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
HERE is “Worlds Apart” by Jars of Clay. This song is a radical (and terrifying) invitation to God to come into your life and do whatever it takes for you to serve God and the world in the most Christlike way possible. We will watch Jesus doing just that in the days to come as we continue in Luke’s Gospel. May God grant us grace to follow.