I spent some time today reading through each of the Gospel accounts of Jesus' triumphal entry. Luke's record of this day stands out most to me. Why? Because Luke, I believe, captures the broken heart of the Savior for His people. Luke is the only one who tells us that Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. The tears Jesus shed as He looked upon Jerusalem didn't slowly trickle down His face, rather the tears streamed from His eyes as He mourned over this city like one who would wail over the loss of a loved one.
It didn't matter which direction Jesus looked, He found reason for mourning. Looking back over His time with this people, He mourned because they missed the opportunity to know their Savior on earth. Looking within the hearts of the people, He saw that they were spiritually blinded. The way had been prepared for His coming through messengers and the message of the Word, but their hearts had failed to see.
There was religious activity all around Jesus. People everywhere were celebrating with feasts but had no idea why. The religious leaders of the day were out to kill Him. The temple, God's dwelling place, had become nothing more than a "den of thieves". And, looking ahead, Jesus saw the judgment that was to come upon this people whom He loved.
Jesus wept because the very people He came to save did not even recognize their Savior was among them. He walked down their streets and ate at their tables. He healed the blind and made the lame to walk. He raised the dead and the deaf He made to hear. Jesus performed miracle after miracle after miracle and yet they never really got it. They were looking for an earthly king who would come and rule the nations, not a Savior who wanted to rule in their hearts.
Even though they didn't get it, even though they expected more, even though they were about to nail Him to a tree, Jesus loved them. He loved them so much that He continued to walk in obedience to God's will for His life.
Matthew, Mark, and John record the people saying, "Hosanna!" as the Prince of Peace passed by them. "Hosanna" is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that means "give salvation now." Little did this crowd know that in just a few short days this King, their King, would lay down His life for them and all those to come granting salvation to all through His precious blood; the precious blood of the perfect Lamb of God.
Picture used with permission from All You Have to Give.