UNEXPECTED TRIUMPH

Opening Prayer

I may not know what this day holds for me, Father, but I thank you that I do know you hold me in your hand.

Read LUKE 19:28–44

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a]

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

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.”

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Footnotes

  1. Luke 19:38 Psalm 118:26

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

‘Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.’1

Think Further

When my parents were alive, we traveled to our hometown annually as part of our tradition, celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. There was great excitement during our journey. The pilgrims of old were no different. Each year, they journeyed to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration as required by the Law of Moses.2 For Jesus and his followers, their feeling of tiredness after a long and weary journey would have given way to a sense of joy and excitement as they descended the Mount of Olives. Here they were greeted by a panoramic view of Jerusalem and the majestic temple. Israel’s long- anticipated Messiah and King entered Jerusalem riding on a colt, as a fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy.3 The crowd journeying with Jesus shouted joyfully, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ (v. 38). Yet there was a dark cloud hanging over this whole incident.

The religious leaders did not receive their King (vv. 41–44). Instead, they wanted to quash the excitement and silence the praises of the people (v. 39). Jerusalem had rejected her Messiah and the temple had abandoned the true worship of God. That was enough for Jesus to weep for the city. Israel had headed down a road that did not lead to peace (v. 42) but to destruction. As a result, Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple for forsaking God (vv. 43, 44). The world we live in today is no different from the Jerusalem who rejected its King. In many parts of the world, hostility toward the Christian faith is rising. In some countries, church attendance is declining and many are abandoning the faith. Do we weep for our nation, city, or even our church? Will we stand in the gap and pray for our nation and church?

Apply

Where are you led to pray for God’s mercy?

Closing prayer

O Lord, I lift up my country and its people to you. Forgive us where we have lost sight of you; I plead for revival, for your healing and blessing.

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by kingstar

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