“And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ And they said, ‘The Lord has need of it.’ And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’ And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 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. 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 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.’ And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, ‘It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.’ And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.” Luke 19:28-48
In the beginning of Passion Week, Jesus has his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, laments over the city, and cleanses the temple.
1. The Triumphal Entry (vv.28-40)
“On other occasions we see him withdrawing from public observation, retiring into the wilderness, charging those to tell no one man what was done. But on the triumphal entrance into Jerusalem all this changed. Reserve is completely thrown aside…he seems desirous that all should see him and observe what he did…He knew the time had come when he was to die for sinners on the cross. His work as the great Prophet, as far as his earthly ministry was concerned, was almost finished and completed. His work as a sacrifice for sin and Substitute for sinners remained to be accomplished. Before giving himself up as a sacrifice, he desired to draw the attention of the whole Jewish nation to himself. The Lamb of God was about to be slain. The great sin offering was about to be killed. It was only proper that the eyes of all Israel were upon him. This great thing was not to be done in a corner.” J.C. Ryle, Luke, p.306
2. Jesus Laments/Weeps Over Jerusalem (vv.41-44)
“We know little of true Christianity if we are not concerned about unconverted people. A lazy indifference about the spiritual state of others may doubtless save us much trouble. To care nothing of whether our neighbors are going to Heaven or Hell is no doubt the way of the world. But a man of this spirit is very unlike David who said, ‘Rivers of waters run down my eyes because men do not keep your law’ (Psalm 119:136). He is very unlike Paul, who said, ‘I have great heaviness of heart and continual sorrow for my brothers, the Jews’ (Romans 9:2). Above all, he is very unlike Christ. If Christ felt tenderly about wicked people, the disciples of Christ ought to feel likewise.” J.C. Ryle, Luke, p.308
3. Jesus Cleanses the Temple (vv.45-48)
This cleansing points to the reality of Christ’s death upon the cross as an offering for sin forever. It fulfills the sacrificial system, meaning that all temple worship from the Old Testament system is fulfilled in Christ.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22