37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:37-44
Well the NCAA Basketball March Madness is finally over. UCONN came out on top over Kentucky. Many were very happy at that moment but many others were very disappointed. What is so amazing to me about this and every other major sports event is the way that different people respond differently to the exact same situation.
There are always 3 distinct groups of people present. There are those who are happy because their team won. There are those who are sad because their team lost. Lastly, there are those who really didn’t care about who won or lost. They were just there as observers not placing any significance in either winning or losing.
Today is Palm Sunday, the day we remember Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem a week before His crucifixion.
Just like at a sporting event there were three distinct groups of people that were there that day long ago. There were those who saw triumph, there were those who saw tragedy and there were those who simply missed what was happening. They saw no real significance in the events of that day.
1. TRIUMPH – those who received (vs. 37-38) A week before the cross Jesus entered Jerusalem to cries of praise and worship. This was the Triumphal Entry. It was at that time that Jesus was at the height of His public ministry. He was recognized as being the Messiah. In Matthew it says: “Hosanna to the Son of David!”. In Mark it says: “Hosanna – Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David”. In John it says “Blessed is the King of Israel!”. The word Hosanna means “Save us now!” and was an expression of praise.
2. TRAGEDY – those who rejected (vs. 39-40) At the triumphal entry the Pharisees had understood clearly what the crowds were saying. They knew that the crowds were naming Jesus as their Messiah and they knew that this was a terrible blasphemy against God. Jesus responded to their complaint that He was more than just a prophet but He was God incarnate. The Pharisees had made up their mind that Jesus could not have been what He claimed so they killed Him.
3. Those who missed what was happening (vs. 41-44) Perhaps the largest group were the bystanders that day who saw what was happening but did not understand what it meant. They were spectators and undecided in what to make of Him. Easter is a time of decision. Two thieves crucified on either side of Jesus. One believes and one rejects. One is saved and another is lost.
What will be your decision about Christ?