The Lent Season reminds us of the 40 days leading up to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Days before his trial and execution he was greeted by crowds in the street shouting ‘Hosanna’. As he approached the city of Jerusalem, he was struck by the paradox of what was happening.

The crowd shouts ‘Hosanna!’ while Jesus whispers ‘Oh no!’ and bursts into tears. ‘Jesus knew that the excitement of the crowds did not correspond to genuine spiritual perception and that the actions being pursued would inevitably bring war, not peace.’ [i]

Luke 19:
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Just as He had prophesied the city was sacked in AD 70 by the Romans. Many lost their lives and the Holy City was decimated. These words of Jesus are tragic. The same people who shouted ‘Hosanna’ lacked the insight to see what was needed to bring peace. The Holy concept of Shalom had been reduced to politics and sentimental religion. The loudest fans crucified the only King who could bring the desired peace. The false Shalom of religion and politics would not save them.

The tears of Jesus are not just any tears. They are the tears of God expressed through a Suffering Saviour. As we become Christ’s followers, will our eyes well up and voices crack at the desperate times upon the world?

Are we able to look at our city and cry for her? Do we understand that much her suffering citizens require a compassionate response?

[i] Reformation Study Bible