“But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”-Luke 19:41-44
To reach the cross, Jesus had to experience brokenness. Jesus wept for the city. He was moved with compassion as He considered its destruction. They had failed to recognize the time of their visitation and were about to face tremendous suffering. And although they had killed the prophets and rejected God’s son; Jesus in His great love was willing to die for them, even though they were still steeped in sin. The Apostle Paul expounded on this in Romans 5:7-8, “Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
We cannot fully follow Jesus to the cross if we are not broken over sin. When is the last time that you wept for your city? When is the last time you interceded for the lost? When is the last time you cried out for your family’s salvation? When is the last time you wept over your own sin? A lack of brokenness over sin will keep us from the cross.
Finally, to reach the cross, Jesus had to push past the indifference and prayerlessness that He found.
“Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”-Matthew 21:12-13
When Jesus entered the Temple he found that the people had allowed the world to set up camp in the sanctuary. What had been a place of prayer had now become a marketplace. What was once holy had been contaminated by worldliness.
The people had drifted so far from God that their consciences were no longer bothered by the sinful practices that were occurring around them. Jesus had to push past the indifference and prayerlessness that he was witnessing in order to reach the cross.
Jesus had been greeted with palm branches as he entered the city, but they were not expecting Him at the Temple. Jesus was not greeted with shouts of praise as he entered the Temple but by the sound of merchants and moneychangers.
Why should Jesus die for those who had abandoned God?
I am sure he was both disheartened and dejected, but He was also righteously angry. Jesus began to turn over tables and drive out the moneychangers. Some questioned His authority. But his fervor for God’s honor would not allow Him to be silent. No one will follow Jesus to the cross that has exchanged holiness for worldliness. Nor will one lay down their life whose heart is lukewarm towards God.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church