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.
We have come again to Passiontide, and again we must collect our thoughts that we may understand what it means…
Jesus knows what that means. It means debasement, revilement, persecution. It means being misunderstood. It means hatred, death, the cross.
And he chooses this way from the very outset. It is the way of obedience and the way of freedom, for it is the way of God…And we are going with him, as individuals and as the church.
We are the church beneath the cross, that is, in disguise. Yet here as well, all we can do is realize that our kingdom, too, is not of this world.
Jesus is reported to have wept only twice in the gospels. When informed His friend Lazarus was dead, He weeps in response to the grief and lack of faith demonstrated by friends and family even though they knew Jesus’ power to heal and restore. The second time was on this day, Palm Sunday, as triumphantly He approaches Jerusalem and stops, looks down upon the city, knowing what lay ahead. This time the stakes were not the loss of one life, but the loss of an entire city due to the unbelief and lack of faith of its people.
Indeed, Jerusalem, still torn between factions, faiths and fanatics, has not really known peace ever since.
I am struck by the compassion shown in those tears. These are not tears of self-pity, nor anticipation of His own imminent personal suffering, but tears shed over the continued blindness of mankind. They expected the militant entrance of a victorious king, so were unaware their salvation rode into their midst on a donkey’s colt.
Those sacred tears were never for Himself, but for us. Human tears rolling down the face of God–Divine tears washing the face of man.
Peace no longer is hidden from us. Now we know.