Palm Sunday, The Triumphal Entry, is a day of visitation. As Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, we see one last applaud from the Father meant to spur Jesus on for the days to come. Jesus knew that His disciples would desert Him. He knew the crowds shouting His praise on Sunday would be shouting for His death on Friday. Luke gives us a glimpse of the sadness that was on the heart of Jesus.
Luke 19:42 “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes”
What sad words. Regret and remorse heavy on his mind and heart. The people of Jerusalem missed what God wanted to do through them. They were making big business out of religion, while trying to manufacture peace. Amid the sadness, Jesus gives a sobering picture of what was in the store for the city of Jerusalem.
Luke 19:43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another
The foretold events would happen less than fifty years later. Luke records the reason why, “because you did not know the time of your visitation.” The people of Jerusalem missed God. What causes a person to miss God’s visit? What leads a person to overlook God’s plans? How does a person miss God when He speaks to them? I think there are at least three ways in which we can miss God’s visitation.
1. Pre-conceived ideas causes us to miss God’s visit. The people had already figured out what their Savior was to be. They pictured a social upheaval and a revolutionary. They pictured a mighty hero that was reminiscent of an OT judge. They were wrong. When the Savior come, He proposed a heart revolution, a changing of the inside, which would eventually change the world. They missed it .Today people miss Him because they figure He should take all their pain away, but He doesn’t. People miss Him because they think His followers should all be just like Him, which we aren’t. People miss Him because they think that a dying Savior is weak, but in reality brokenness leads to being filled with his strength.
2. Pride causes us to miss God’s visit. Who likes to change? Who enjoys being told they are wrong? The crowds did not, we don’t either. We are a most prideful people. When we reject the message because it’s unpleasant, we miss out on God’s purpose for coming to us. He came to us to change us from the inside out. However, a life that refuses to admit it needs changing will always miss God’s visitation. Agreeing with God about our sin is the first step to forgiveness and recovery.
3. Activity causes us to miss God’s visit. People are busy. We are in a hurry going from here to there, not really knowing why, and at times, not really wanting to go. Our calendars are full. Our days are filled with activity. The people of Jerusalem were going about their daily activities, not realizing what was happening in their presence. If we never squeeze some moments into our day with the express purpose of spending with God, we’ll dry up. Along with activity comes noise. Silence is a premium. We must pursue the quiet life in order to hear God. Think for a moment of the noise coming from the crowds that surrounded Jesus as He made His way into Jerusalem, and beyond. I’ve often wondered how a person could go from shouting commendation to shouting condemnation in a week. To go from love to hate in 5 days. How sad are Jesus’ words in v.44. Let’s not miss Him. I’m reminded of the words from Casting Crown’s song entitled “While You Were Sleeping”.
Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had come
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save
Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping
Let’s not miss Him.