On Sunday, April 1, 2012, Christians around the world will celebrate Palm Sunday. Many local churches will give out palms to parishioners. Others will focus on special choir or musical presentations. Roman Catholic priests, Protestant and Evangelical pastors will focus on the message of what is called, The Triumphal Entry. It has been noted that this recorded entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey was neither triumphant nor a reason to celebrate. Rather, it was the threshold to grief.
We are familiar with the scene at the tomb of Lazarus, where it is recorded that “Jesus wept” even though He would raise Lazarus from the dead. In this instance, Jesus approached the city of Jerusalem, a tomb of another kind. The scriptures record that when Jesus drew near to the city, he wept over it (Luke 19:41). His days on earth were numbered, and He spent them continuing to teach the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He went into the temple and drove out those who would desecrate it declaring, “My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves” (Luke 19:46).
Upon His entrance into Jerusalem, Jesus had prophesied the future destruction of the temple. The reason was made clear. “. . .Because you did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44).
What about us today? Do we recognize the signs of the times in which we live? As we have been reflecting on various aspects of our spiritual lives during this Lenten season, are we quick to repent for our sins? Do we love our neighbors and do what we can to prove it? In other words, are we careful to keep our temples (our lives) clean? Are we prayerful? Do we give our Lord Jesus reason to weep over us, or to rejoice with us?
In the week before us we will be remembering the Passion of Christ, which many area churches commemorate through drama, foot washing, and various special services. Good Friday, on April 6, 2012 concludes the Passion Week with periods of fasting and/or a three-hour period of silence. The Elizabethtown Ministerium (http://elizabethtown.pa.us.mennonite.net/) will sponsor a “Carry The Cross” journey on Good Friday. (Call 717-689-0263 for more information about this event).
The Old Testament also gives instances of the grief of Jehovah over His people. In fact, He seemingly was ready to give up on His people when they journeyed through the wilderness. But He had cried over their bondage under Egyptian rule and cried, “Let My people go” (Exodus 5:1). His cry over His people in the book of Hosea was, “How can I give you up?” (Hosea 11:8).
Is it possible that Jesus weeps today? Does the Father’s heart grieve over those for whom His beloved Son gave His life? May we enter into the spirit of this season with a whole-hearted passion of our own to live for the Christ who died for us.
That’s what Christianity is about.
Scripture references are from the New King James Version of the Bible.
This article is part of the Lenten 2012 series as listed below.
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