Luke: Triumphal Entry as Jesus Weeps

Read: Luke 19:28-44

Most of this passage is focused on the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as prophesied hundreds of years before. The text contains highlights of the momentous occasion, songs, and joyful celebration as well as tears from Jesus as He reflects on the future. Let that last thought sink in for a moment. Only God can look back on that which has not happened in our time.

As we dive into the passage, I can’t help but wonder how amenable the owner of the colt was to the disciples’ request.

As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.” Luke 19:33-34

With that short explanation, they take the colt and present it to Jesus. This is a colt that’s never been ridden before. The owner must have been thinking these guys are a bit off their rocker for borrowing this particular colt. I can picture him shrugging it off with a “good luck with that” kind of glance.

No one hesitates. The colt is secured, covered with a few coats to make the ride comfortable, and the animal appears to calmly accept its burden. Jesus enters Jerusalem.

Memories flood the minds of the crowd of disciples, more than just the twelve, a festive atmosphere begins to fill the hearts of the few that actually got to witness that which multitudes have been hoping to see for centuries.

the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:37-38

Not everyone was happy about this moment. Luke reports that some of the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke His disciples. From their perspective, this couldn’t possibly be right. With their pious belts tight, they have the audacity to confront Jesus, but He will not be moved.

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Luke 19:40

Without a doubt, Jesus will be honored, He will be praised. For most of those present, at least from Luke’s account, this is a joyful moment.

The Roman authorities are not in the least bit threatened. The people might be using the word “king,” but where is the army? No worries, go about your business. This is just some religious thing. I suspect they simply dismissed the activity.

On the other hand, Jesus looks to the future and sees what no one else can. As I proposed at the beginning of this post, He reflects on the future. He knows that within the human lifespan of many of those who are singing, Jerusalem will be destroyed. Utterly and completely. No one of Jewish heritage could view that scene and hold back tears. This is a tragic moment.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. Luke 19:41-42

This is our Lord, our Savior, our God. He is mighty and powerful and yet He truly cares about us and for us. There are a lot of “ands” in the last sentence, not enough to capture His essence, but I hope you get the point.

In His role as Creator, I don’t think God gets excited about judgment or effecting His wrath. But I don’t think He withholds it either.

We are about to enter the last days of Jesus on earth through Luke’s eyes. It seems fitting as we continue to prepare for Pentecost at this present time. Lord, help us to remember and help us to look forward to your next triumphal entry. May this thought cause us to spread your Gospel today!

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