41 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.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Lk 19:41–44.
Tomorrow Churches and groups celebrate the Triumphal Entry as the start of the Easter week in the Church calendar. In this series, as in other years I ask the Lord to enable me to go beyond the narrative, the tradition, the well established approach to His entry into Jerusalem to see something absolutely marvellous and prophetic. In these messages I have seen God work these things in, and I do anticipate like in my Christmas series each year we see a major opening of our understanding to elements we have not seen before. This series is no different.
In my searching out in God, the Lord brought to my attention that Jerusalem is a tortuous journey in the purpose of God, the glorious days of Zion, David’s Tabernacle, the Temple of Solomon, the many highs and lows of the spiritual condition of Israel and her kings culminating in Nebuchadnezzar coming and invading, demolishing and taking the nation captive and taking captives to Babylon. Then we see under the leadership of Ezra at the King’s command return to build the House of God. We have made podcasts in the pandemic regarding this, and many messages. The significance of God’s plan for Jerusalem is a plan peppered with injustice, killing of her prophets within her surroundings, corruption and idolatry abounding in many times.
Psalm 68 says ” There is a River, the streams thereof make glad the city of God.” Yet this is in first glance a contradiction when it refers to the City of God, Jerusalem, because it is only capital city without a river going through it. Yet this declaration must have a prophetic application pointing to a time when Jesus is fully revealed and repentance opens the river that this speaks to, and when the New Jerusalem comes down from eternity, heaven, and becomes the eternal city, the River runs down its middle, with the tree of life by the side of its course.
Yet before that Jerusalem would pass through her greatest trial and greatest tribulation for which Jesus approaches it, in the Passover story. We as people who study the Word must acknowledge history, and how that fits in with God’s plan. We must make an interpretation what we see from history and then try to make a prophetic application. Jerusalem represents all of us, how Jerusalem has been chosen, we are chosen, as God made His Dwelling in His House, He has also made his abode in our hearts. Common aspects of how Jerusalem has behaved toward God, also indicates common attitudes we all have. That before this New Jerusalem, perfect, glorious, beautiful comes down, there is a tortuous way to journey. In Zechariah 13.1 points to a future day when all of Israel perceives Jesus, the Messiah, as the same Suffering Servant, who they pierced. The result of the repentance of the Davidic house: kingly house, the house of Levi, the priestly house, the house of Nathan, the prophetic house, brings about the opening of a fountain, a river that Jerusalem has needed. This fountain becomes the River of Life in Revelation. The same River seen by Ezekiel where its source comes from under the Temple will flow from the Throne of God and of the Lamb in the eternal future.
So as Jesus draws nigh to Jerusalem, this in itself sets in motion the next stage of God’s plan for Jerusalem, for its people and for God’s people over the globe.
He saw the city and wept over it
Jesus is looking down 40 years, looking to 2000 years also, seeing that a separation was coming. Events in the next few days would determine where each individual would be when God would shake things. There were those in Jerusalem, the Scribes and Priests who would do anything to make the religious machine continue to function, and the more subservient to Roman rule they become the better. The weeping of Jesus over Jerusalem is wailing according to the word used in the Greek.
2799. κλαίω klaiō, klah´-yo; of uncert. aff.; to sob, i.e. wail aloud (whereas 1145 is rather to cry silently):— bewail, weep.
James Strong, The New Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996).
This firmly shows the Heart of God, how He sees our futures. How He sees where our motives will take us. He weeps because He knows the pain we will suffer. We will blame God for it, we will even rebuke it as though satan was inflicting it. In fact it all has to do with the approach of Jesus to our Jerusalem.
If you had known
If only you had understood…if only you had discerned. If only you had sought God for His ways, then you would know what He was doing. Many were confused by Jesus, as His entry on 2 donkeys had defied ideas concerning the Messiah. The common idea was that the Messiah would come as a warrior king to defeat the occupying Roman empire. Jesus the Messiah had to present another kingdom that would not come in through traditional warfare, through political rule. The principles of this other Kingdom would not correspond with human ideas. Knowledge is one of the Sevenfold attributes of the Spirit found in Isaiah 11. This “fire” when it operates in the person who walks with God has prior knowledge of God’s purpose, as Amos also corresponds by saying that God does nothing without FIRST revealing to His servants, the prophets. Jesus walked a fine line as the nation was a hotbed ready for revolution so to confound both the ambitions of the zealots and the defence of Rome, He needed to be the Suffering Servant. There was nothing to be gained by presenting supernatural force, and revolution, as the human heart would remain unredeemed.
If you had known what kind of Messiah you were receiving so you would be spared the pain to come. Yet very often the filters of self ambition, politics and personal gain cloud our discernment so we do not see, and cloud our judgment in whom we align ourselves. Yet there is coming a separation between those who could look beyond the confounding to see that there is a specific plan, already revealed by all the prophets. Yet even what was written was not known, nor understood for that time. They saw things happen but because aspects of Jesus’ life confounded their ideas their discernment was non existent. Is it not interesting that in Zechariah 12 there is a connection made supernaturally as this Suffering Messiah is shown to them, they are fixed on the Warrior King. Is it not the same situation with the Church, fixed upon the Suffering Messiah, but cannot see the King of Kings, Ascended and Glorious Lord. There must be a dual revelation coming! If only we had known….
In this day…
As Jesus DREW NIGH…approaching…this Day being the Day of the Lord. We think of the Day of the Lord as the Last Day, it is not, it is the Day Jesus chooses to be revealed. We studied recently Revelation 1, when John the Apostle was in the Spirit on the Day of the Lord. He is confronted with this Glorified King, and falls down prostrate as one dead. For those who perceive the Day, it is a day of revealing, but for those lost in their own ideas, it is the start of a process of judgment. We see from Luke’s account that once Jesus had wept, spoke over the city He enters the Temple and white hot anger and zeal causes Him to expel all the corruption that now occupied the Temple. As we celebrate this season, could we face as a Global Church, Jesus coming nigh? He comes says Malachi 3 to refine and try His servants as one who purifies silver 7 times. Who can stand the day of His Coming? So His entry into Jerusalem was confusing and confounding to the Priests because for their own system were blind to prophecy being fulfilled before their eyes. Even Caiaphas spoke prophetically concerning the expediency of Jesus’ death, fulfilling prophecy yet being excluded from its blessing for his own religiosity and self ambition! The status quo demonstrated in their treatment of Jesus had been expired in 70AD when Titus demolished Jerusalem, and spread her people over the known world.
This message hit me hard because I include myself because just as the “Church” of Jesus’ day missed it, is it possible we could also miss it. The “Day” had come for His approach, and when Jesus visits change must come!
The things that belong to peace
Jesus was introducing a new kind of peace, not one won over in revolution or war. Or even the one won over by the expediency of the status quo. What belongs to peace? 1) Suffering Messiah 2) Spiritual Kingdom 3) Shed Blood 4) Shattered aspirations 5) Shaken graves 6) Shamed Temple and Priests.
Luke 24 in the words of one of the travellers to Emmaus says it all “We had hoped that it was He who should redeem Israel..” His dreams, were shattered because of what was behind them. Revolution and conquest from a human way to gain physical space. How far they were from perceiving the first part of Jesus’ mission.
But now they are hid from your eyes…
How many of us preach, teach, yet our eyes have not beholden the things of God! They are purposely hid from our eyes. There is a predetermination in God that He invite certain ones into the inner circle of His workings. Then there are those who are blinded temporarily whilst He reveals His Word, and then they see. Some have the opportunity yet reject it. I feel that this is placed firmly in the Churches, the leaders who seem to think that their “system” will continue as before, yet something new is unfolding. It always does when Jesus approaches. God has hidden from Israel so that the Gentiles can come into Grace. However the season is come when He shall remove the obstacles to Israel’s vision. You will be surprised at those who go along this appointed day of God as though nothing were happening. That day has arrived.
For the day shall come upon you, when your enemies shall cast a siege around you…
Be blinded now to His Approach and later the Day shall come upon you. Whatever enemy you entertain now in this Day of Visitation, shall in the Day of Judgment make siege against you. Historically in 70AD this was fulfilled when Titus invaded Jerusalem scattering the people to the 4 winds. The Temple of the day was demolished till today. And for 2000 years the Children of Israel are wandering, steadily being called back to their land. Jesus predicts “not one stone shall be left on another”, the scattering being thorough. Romans 10:3 describes what they did when Jesus died and the Temple veil was torn from bottom to top, exposing the glory less house, a house which had operated so long without a glory. It took nearly 40 years for this structure rejected by God, to be scattered. We have seen the story repeated, right from the threats of Jesus to the Ephesian Church, to remove her lampstand. To the modern day, where scandal is a symptom of a great evil, the house is devoid of God’s glory! The greed, the ambition, the status quo, so called Roman friends, now despising, come as your enemies to scatter and destroy. Here Jesus is not just speaking to Jerusalem, Zion, but to God’s spiritual Zion, the Church today!
In the day of calamity there will be cries to God “why is this happening?” Even they will try to rebuke satan in the midst of it. Yet Here in Jesus’ prophetic weeping He then spells out the reasons of this transition, this 2000 year trial, culminating in so many wars, crusades, then finally the horror of the holocaust, to birth in His people the desire to return to Israel, refounded in 1948.
You knew not…
For all the Scripture knowledge, for all the tradition, for all the Law, the Heritage, when the Prophets’ words were played out in Jesus before them, they knew not, that they were being given a chance. Yet “you knew not.” Yet in the time when God’s glory appeared in your Church, your home, told you things, showed you what to do, yet for expediency you disobeyed, and your visitation became a curse against you, because you disobeyed.
In much of my research and hearing teaching on Kronos and Kairos from my friend Al Houghton, (www.wordatwork.org) I saw the way that times and seasons play a fundamental role in the things of God. Even Paul spoke to the Thessalonians over this, they were fully versed what role Kairos (seasons) played in the Kronos (times) when God would move, what He would do. Discerning these out cause us to either flow with it, or against it. Had the Chief Priests discerned the time, they would not be on the wrong side of Jesus’ death. This sacrifice was not negotiable however the main players would pay a heavy price for it. It is said that Pontius Pilate went crazy after Jesus’ death.
Of YOUR visitation
The visitation of Jesus to us is OUR visitation. It is OUR opportunity to discern and understand it. In the Day when He comes, we will rise to be with Him, to judge, our total submission to the visitations now means that we shall abide with Him for all eternity. Jesus is coming NIGH to Jerusalem, to the Church to perfect Her, and to Israel, to bring Her back in. It is that day! May we realise it, perceive it. Isaiah said ” Behold I do a new thing, do you not perceive it?”
Passing over to Passover is recognising that our Passover is Jesus coming nigh unto us! And what that means is that we either embrace it for the blessings and purposes, or we rejected it for scattering and confounding. The choice is to recognise that as we celebrate this Passover season it is a opportunity as Jesus comes to us afresh…