(This post is used by permission and is written by my dear friend, Dr. Craig Green, Pastor of Livingston First Church, Livingston, TN.)
When Yeshua had come closer and could see the city (Jerusalem), he wept over it, saying, “If you only knew today what is needed for shalom! But for now it is hidden from your sight… all because you did not recognize your opportunity when God offered it!” (Luke 19:41-44 CJB)
Misunderstanding love is the hallmark of the fallen human race—regardless of how God presents love; regardless of how explicit He is in foretelling it. Not only are we guilty of misunderstanding His love, we are guilty of redefining His love—even though He has clearly defined what real love is—and is not—in His Word…
Jesus wept over a city that should have known better. Zechariah 9:9 clearly states that your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey. The crowd outside the city got it…sort of. They covered the ground with palm branches and clothing and shouted praises as King Jesus rode toward Jerusalem. But they misunderstood the Messiah coming in humility, regardless of what the prophet had said.
That misunderstanding caused Jesus to weep over a city that would be utterly destroyed—with enormous loss of life—less than forty years later. Many in Israel never did come to see their Messiah…
I wonder if Jesus’ second coming—this time as the King of Kings riding on a white horse—will be equally or even more misunderstood…
While the religious leaders and most of the public two thousand years ago could not fathom a Suffering Servant as the Messiah (despite the prophet Isaiah’s clear words), most of our current world can’t seem to fathom a mighty victorious King coming in perfect authority and righteousness in His Second Coming.
In perfect humility—or in perfect glory, honor, and strength—Jesus is still… Perfect Love! His love is equally evident in suffering for our sin (as He did on the cross), in calling us to righteous holiness that finds victory over sin (as He does now), to returning in all glory and power to restore perfection (as He will soon).
The Love of God is still misunderstood and it is still being redefined as people long to manufacture a god who serves our needs and scratches our itches rather than submit to the one true God who—in humility and in all power—calls us to surrender to Him, as if… He is God and we are not!
Both, I believe, make Jesus weep as multitudes miss the peace Jesus brought, brings, and will bring.
· He came as a humble servant, but they wanted a militant king…
· He is now the King of righteousness who demands transformation by the Word and Spirit, but many bristle at the suggestion that HIS definition of righteousness and love, not ours, is the standard.
· He will come in all glory as God the King, but many will balk in full-blown rebellion.
This Palm Sunday, perhaps the thing to do is to lay down our lives before Him (rather than palm branches), and to receive HIM until our misunderstandings and redefinitions are overpowered by His enormous and perfect love…!