Friday, March 22, 2013

Cause for Crying

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it. (Luke 19:41)

It’s hard for us to get the full picture of the first Palm Sunday because it is impossible for us to see that day through the eyes of Jesus. It would seem to be a day that filled him with joy and satisfaction. But, it wasn’t.

When early in his ministry he preached a sermon in his hometown, they tried to throw him over a cliff. When he worked miracles, some said it was by the power of the devil. He was accused of blasphemy. When would they see him for who he really was?

It seemed as though Palm Sunday was that day. He rode into Jerusalem with crowds shouting their approval. They sang that he was the successor to the great King David. Finally, he was recognized as a King! Was it not a day to celebrate?

Then, why was Jesus crying?

We might guess it was because he knew the crowds would turn on him. We might wonder if he was anticipating the lash of the whips, and the nails driven through his hands and feet. But we would be wrong.

He was not crying for himself, he was crying for the people of Jerusalem. Their rejection of the Lord of Glory and the peace that he offered would bring them pain, disaster, and death. He told them, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:43) He foretold the days when enemies would surround Jerusalem, when they would smash the walls of the city—and the children within the walls. “They will not leave one stone on another,” he told them, “because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:43,44).

It was enough to make the Son of God cry.

This tells us something about our sin, doesn’t it? And it tells us something about our Savior!

The consequences of sin are horrible—worse than we can imagine. Only God, and those who have entered eternity without him, know how horrible.

The love of God for us is wonderful—greater than we can imagine. Only God, and those who now dwell in heaven with him, know how wonderful.

We look in at that Palm Sunday from a great distance. But, it is not a dusty page from history. It is as current as today. For today is our chance to embrace the Savior in faith. Today is our opportunity to see him for who he is, and for what he has done. Today is our chance to join the voices of those shouting his praises.

We have no cause to cry. Today is our Palm Sunday!

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military.
To subscribe to Pastor Ziemer’s weekly message, please contact him at

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

My photo
Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.