Applied Belief: Jesus still weeps

In one week we will celebrate Palm Sunday. This is a day we remember what is called the triumphal entry of Jesus. The gospels record that this was a day filled with shouts of acclamation but perhaps more significant, we find only the second recorded time when Jesus weeps. The first being when Jesus’ friend Lazarus died.

Luke records, “And when he [Jesus] drew near and saw the city [Jerusalem], he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because God had come to the people of Israel to offer them the shalom of God, true peace, but they rejected it; they rejected and would crucify God’s peace offering. Close to 2,000 years later while many have come to trust in Jesus as the Shalom of God, the majority has continued to reject Him.

Nothing breaks God’s heart (humanly speaking, God is spirit) more than the rejection of salvation and peace when it is free for the taking. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

This is a free gift, the best gift of all. There is nothing we can do to earn it. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We live in a world in which a growing number of people do not believe in God and others believe there is some supernatural power that does not have a connection to humanity and a power we could never know. King David reflected on God and his relation to humanity in his eighth psalm “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

“You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

What indeed is man that you are mindful of him? God in his own Word tells us what man, what humanity, means to him. God created us.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them.” (Genesis 1:27-28) He knows everything about us from number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30) to our daily schedule. “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4)

Knowing how imperfect we are and how we all are in sin, how small we are compared to His universe, to his angels, no wonder David asks what is man that you care, that you are mindful of him. And yet as we have seen we are exactly what he longs for. God wants to be in relationship with his creatures, with us and he did the unthinkable. God “became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

Not only did Jesus live among us but he entered Jerusalem to give His life for us. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)

If there is joy in heaven and the angels rejoice over one person who trusts in Jesus the opposite must be true of those who reject him. Jesus wept over Jerusalem as he does now because once again many people will come to Easter services for one reason or another but if the result is not an encounter with Jesus in which the person trusts in him then instead of rejoicing there are tears because the visitation is once again rejected.

“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23)

I pray this Easter season will be the one in which you finally recognize the day of your visitation. Repent and turn from your ways and live.

“Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

* The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of Chadds Ford Live. We welcome opposing viewpoints. Readers may comment in the comments section or they may submit a Letter to the Editor to editor@chaddsfordlive.com

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About Rev. Marcos O. Almonte

Rev. Marcos O. Almonte is senior pastor at Brandywine Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist Church west of Philadelphia. Pastor Marcos is a graduate of Palmer Theological Seminary with more than 10 years working with families with an expertise in theology, trauma and addictions. Pastor Marcos and his wife Mary have three children, Carmen, Joseph, and Lincoln.

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