I think of Palm Sunday as Jesus' rock star moment. Jerusalem's streets echoed--and rightfully so--with the praises of His disciples and others who had heard Jesus had just arrived. If the paparazzi were around, they'd be thronging his red carpet, eager to catch a glimpse, snap a photo, and interview those praising His name.
Yes, this is the same Jesus who raised Lazarus.
Oh, fed thousands with a Happy Meal.
And freed the tormented from their mental chains.
Told the self-righteous religious leaders what they really were made of.
The list could go on, and like John said, "All the world could not contain the books."
But the whole rock star thing? People thought they knew Him. They'd heard, Him speak, watched the miracles, maybe even tagged along as He traveled. Surely He'd do something to fix that whole Roman occupation problem. Anyone who can call someone back from the grave or stare the devil in the face should surely be able to throw off Roman rule.
Less than a week later, a sham trial, and then inciting a riot, the crowd changed. They chose Barabbas, and what would have been a first-century media frenzy changed from an atmosphere of "Jesus, Rock Star" to "Jesus--the heretic and political insurgent."
He knew all this, and as He rode into town during his rock star moment, He wept for them because He knew what would happen.
"When the city came into view, he wept over it. "If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it's too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They'll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn't recognize and welcome God's personal visit."