We are approaching Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday denotes the time in which Jesus of Nazareth rode a colt into Jerusalem while a great multitude waved palm branches and praised Him and publicly acknowledged Him to be the Messiah and King of the Jews. It is the only time that Jesus allowed such a massive public demonstration of His kingship during His earthly ministry.
Palm Sunday began with the Lord sending two of His disciples on an errand to bring back a colt and the foal of a colt for His use. The disciples found the animals just as Jesus said they would. The disciples brought Jesus the donkey and the colt. They laid their clothes on them, and Jesus rode on the colt. As He rode, people took off their cloaks and laid them on the ground in front of the animals. Some even cut off palm branches and waved them in the air while singing, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.”
Today this celebration seems strange to us. However, for those in attendance and throughout the first century, this celebration made perfect sense. First, the donkey was the animal a Jewish king rode into a city on in his inauguration day. Secondly, when the Jews met royalty, they would often take off their cloaks and lay them before the royalty to walk on. When they sang, “Hosanna, which means ‘save now’, blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD”, they were singing a Messianic Psalm found in Psalm 118. By these events, every Jew in that area would have realized that a large population of the Jews recognized Jesus to be the Messiah, and the King of the Jews. Furthermore, Jesus did not stop them as they proclaimed His Kingship. He was indeed riding into Jerusalem to begin His coronation. His coronation began with this event and He was finally crowned at His ascension.
This was huge! Jesus never allowed this type of public proclamation of His Kingship until now. There were more than likely hundreds of thousands of Jews in the area to celebrate the Passover. Consequently, there are thousands of Roman soldiers in the area to keep order and to squelch any attempt to overthrow the Roman rule of Judea, which happened frequently during the annual feast. In the midst of all this activity, multitudes are crying out, worshiping, and singing, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
As Jesus made His way down from Bethpage to Jerusalem, He had a perfect view of the city. He paused as He beheld the city in front of Him. When He surveyed the city, He began to weep. Luke records the event.
Luke 19:41-44 ESV – “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 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. 43 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 44 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.” (emphasis added is mine).
The time of visitation is now. Today is the day of your visitation. Today is your day of salvation. Today is your day of healing. Today is your day of deliverance. Today is your day of hope and restoration. Today is the day of visitation. Don’t miss your visit!
The Greek word for “weep” in this passage means to “wail, cry out loud, the heaving of the bosom, to be in agony.” Why was Jesus weeping? Everyone else was worshiping Him and celebrating, and yet Jesus is weeping. Why? He was weeping because He knew that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed in a relatively short time because the Jews, as a whole, rejected Him.
The destruction of Jerusalem literally happened in 70 A.D. when the Roman General, and recently made Prince, Titus, surrounded the city with his troops. According to historians, such as Josephus, the Romans built a wall around the city and cut off all supplies and travel in and out of the city. After roughly 150 days, their supplies ran out, and they were literally starving to death. Obviously, the Jews were in no condition to fight. The Romans charged the city and killed roughly 600,000 Jews and took many more captives. They dug up the city and plowed it under. They literally did not leave one stone on top of another, including the Temple. The destruction of Jerusalem fulfilled a large portion of Matthew chapter 24.
Now, the question is, “Why did this happen?”. The answer is found in Luke 19:44 which reads, “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.” It happened because they “did not know the time of their visitation”.
Jerusalem, as a whole, refused to recognize the signs that the Christ was in their midst. They missed their time of visitation, so they were destroyed. The same will happen to you spiritually if you fail to recognize the day of your visitation. If you miss your day of visitation, you will eventually be destroyed by the second death and will spend an eternity in Hell. However, it does not have to be that way.
Don’t miss your day of visitation. Christ is here through the ministry of the Word and the Spirit. The time of visitation is now. Today is the day of your visitation. Today is your day of salvation. Today is your day of healing. Today is your day of deliverance. Today is your day of hope and restoration. Today is the day of visitation. Don’t miss your visit!
How does Christ’s visitation occur today? Christ’s day of visitation occurs today through the proclamation of the Gospel. Every time you hear the Word of God proclaimed, or every time you read the Word of God, or every time you read a proclamation of the Word, that is the time Christ is visiting you. I am proclaiming through this blog that Christ is visiting you to save, heal, and deliver. Whatever your need, Christ has already met it through His finished work upon the Cross of Calvary. You simply must recognize that this is the day of your visitation. Don’t miss the day of your visitation. Instead, publicly proclaim Him to be the King of kings. Enthrone Him in your life, and you will be blessed by His benevolent rule over all affairs and aspects of your life.