Who is that?
It is the Messiah! Hosanna!
And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.”
Scripture tells us that Jesus reacted emotionally to the things He witnessed: When He saw the poor, the hungry, the ill, and people sinning. Scripture says repeatedly that “…He had compassion on them.”
There are only two references, however, to Jesus crying, once at the grave of His friend Lazarus along with Mary & Martha. Jesus wept with them. He wept for them. He entered into their grief with compassion and He identified with their sorrow and despair.
This was the 2nd time, as He looked at the city of Jerusalem. He saw the faces, the mass of humanity crowding there and realized the emptiness of their lives. They had not heard the message of peace. They did not understand the purpose of His coming. The people had eyes, but they didn’t see. They had ears, but they didn’t hear. They missed the whole point of the message that God had given to them.
Certainly they waved palm branches, because that is exactly what their great-grandparents had done when the Maccabees overthrew the Syrian oppressors and reestablished worship in the temple. By waving palm branches they were showing that they expected Jesus to be another warlord, another general of the armies one who would lead them to overthrow the Romans. They were saying that they were ready to pick up their swords and shields. They were ready to go to war if He would lead them!
That wasn’t Jesus way. His was the way of love, not of war. The nation of Israel had completely misunderstood Jesus’ mission. He wept over them because these were His chosen people but they did not recognize or understand His as He walked in their midst. They saw His healing as sinister, His words as a challenge to their authority.
Both Matthew & Luke tell us that earlier Jesus had looked down upon the city crying out, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem… How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”
Today, like Jerusalem, we find ourselves in the presence of Jesus. If Jesus sees us as worried about ourselves, our lives and our fixes to every problem, He would have to cry. If Jesus sees people who recognize Him for who He is – The Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, He would rejoice.
What’s all the commotion – here we are, waving branches, because we recognize You Jesus, our Lord and God. Hosanna in the highest!!!