“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9–10)
Palm Sunday is the day in the church year when traditionally we mark the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem for the last week of his life.
As he rode into town on the humble beast, Jesus was not oblivious to what was about to happen to him. His enemies were going to get the upper hand, and he would be rejected and crucified. And within a generation the city would be obliterated.
Here’s how Jesus says it in Luke 19:43–44:
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.
God was visiting them in Jesus, his Son — “he came to his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). But they did not know the time of their visitation. So they stumbled over the stumbling stone. The builders rejected the stone and threw it away. Jesus saw this coming.
The King Cries
How did he respond? “When he drew near and saw the city, 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’” (Luke 19:41–42).
Jesus wept over the blindness and the impending misery of Jerusalem.
How would you describe these tears? I would call them tears of sovereign mercy. The effect they should have on us is to make us admire Christ and treasure him above all others and worship him as our merciful Sovereign. And when we have seen the beauty of his mercy, we become merciful with him and like him and for his glory.
So, let’s admire Christ together on this Palm Sunday.
Article by John Piper
Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org