This week is the time of year where we are preparing our hearts for Easter. This past Sunday was Palm Sunday when we reflect on Jesus triumphantly riding into Jerusalelm, mounted on a donkey (see the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9). As He approached the city, the crowds had assembled and were laying down palm branches and cheering wildly. What an ironic scene as they had no idea what was about to happen. Little did they know that instead of Jesus riding into town to sit upon a throne, He was riding into town to be hung on a cross.
As Jesus gets closer towards the city He stops for a moment and gazes upon Jerusalem and then weeps over the city (Luke 19:41). This is one of only a couple to times that the Bible records Jesus weeping. How many times over Israel's history had God reached out to His people only to be rejected? How many prophets had God sent crying out to the Israelites to turn from their sin and surrender to the love of God? And now here was Jesus, the Messiah Himself, God's Son heading into God's beautiful city to be rejected, mocked, beaten and killed.
Perhaps this is akin to loving parents who have raised, instructed, provided for, loved, and guided their child. Then one day this child grows up and curses his own mom and dad with stinging words like 'I hate you' and 'I never want to see you again.' As Jesus spent His last days in Jerusalem he fought against cold, heartless religion. He found that the temple was no longer a house of prayer but a 'den of robbers'. He found religious leaders who were opposing Him at every turn because He threatened their power and the religious system, and they had determined to dispose of Him.
Much of Jesus' teaching in these last days of His life was rebuking these Jewish religious leaders and informing them that they were missing God's kingdom and others, who weren't born Jewish, were now realizing it. That is the challenge constantly for you and me. If we have grown up in church our whole life or known Jesus for a long time, we run the risk of losing a soft heart towards Him. May the depth and power of what Jesus did for us be fresh and new for us this Easter season and may we not miss out on the new things that God is doing today!