Read Matthew 21:1-9
“Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold thy king cometh unto thee, meek, and riding upon an ass, upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Matt. 21:5).
One year rolls by after the other. The wheel of time turns incessantly, and we follow. It seems that each year passes more swiftly than the preceding one. Old customs yield to new ones. We follow friends, parents and relatives to the grave with painful regularity. We weep— and forget.
Life is like a bustling ant hill. Tired and disgruntled people complain of weariness and injustice. The earth is aging. The races of mankind are wearing out. The end of all things is at hand; God’s great autumn season is before us.
In the midst of all this bustling and teeming life of sweat and blood and tears stands an immovable rock; the floodwaters of the world have failed to change it with the passing years. That is Jesus Christ, our Savior. He is yesterday, today, and forever the same.
* * *
To Jerusalem is accorded the privilege of another visit from the Savior. Once again He desires to offer the Kingdom to these stiff- necked people. Still another time He yearns to knock with a loving hand at the locked door. Once more — can it be possible that tears and loving words may thaw the frozen hearts of frigid souls?
Alas, no! Also this time the heartdoor is closed to peace and salvation. For a fleeting moment the people thaw out sufficiently to hail their king. Then everything freezes up into eternal ice again.
Jesus wept as He rode into the city. Remarkable tears these were.
According to human reasoning this was the only day of His earthly
life that He had a reason to rejoice; and on that day He wept.
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday brought suffering, derision and judgment; but there were no tears in His eyes then. Instead He turned to the weeping ones about Him, urging them to cease weeping over Him.
When love suffers voluntarily it does not ask to be pitied. It is self-love that goes from door to door to solicit sympathy.
Why did Jesus weep on Palm Sunday, but not on Good Friday?
On Good Friday Christ walked to Golgotha as the Savior of the world. His purpose was then to redeem the sin-bound race from sin, death, and the kingdom of Satan. The urge to save us impelled Him on toward this day. Now it had arrived. Therefore He gave Himself voluntarily and meekly as a lamb. In this way He opened again the road to the Father’s House for us. As heaven was closed to Him it was opened for us. That is why Jesus did not weep on Good Friday.
On Palm Sunday Jesus saw a group of people who would fail to benefit by all that He did for them. He saw that His life would be given in vain for so many of His own people. That is why He wept.
It is hard to sacrifice everything for others in vain; it is doubly so when one is rewarded with disgrace and mockery. Slighted love is the most painful experience a human being can suffer.
Many a strong and brave man has lost all courage and desire to live because he loved one who would never be his. Many a radiant young lady has paled away as a fading flower because she loved without being loved in return. In each case a whole life volunteered to wear itself to the bone for another person, but this other one slightingly rejected the offer.
Now Jesus at the door is knocking!
Hark, how He pleads our hearts to win!
Who hears His voice, the door unlocking,
To sup with him He enters in!
How blest the day, my soul, how blest!
When Jesus comes to be thy guest!
Slighted love is the heaviest burden and most excruciating pain that is possible in life.
This is the kind of pain that made Jesus weep.
* * *
But it is not the Jews we are concerned with today. They had their time of visitation—and their judgment. The judgment is upon them to this day. The grace of God was immeasurable toward them, but their resistance was also great; therefore the judgment has been heavy and long.
Now it is our time; it still is. It is we who are favored by a visitation from day to day and from year to year. As yet He has not left our people. He rides today from house to house with His offer of salvation. The Spirit of God is still among us; He gathers people about the Word that they might be drawn to Christ. Through these words you are now reading He is knocking at your door, even though until now you may have closed your heart against Him. Christ listens intentively for a response from your heart.
Daughter of Zion, open the door for Him; young men and maidens, let Him in; open your hearts, you mature men and aging matrons. You can still be saved, for you are in the day of grace; God is still drawing you to Himself. Yield yourself to His gentle persuasion.
Some day He is going to leave you, never to return. Then you will be left with the judgment and responsibility resting entirely upon you. That day will be a sad one for you — all because you did not know the day of your visitation.
Behold He at the door is calling,
O heed, my soul, what He doth say;
Deny Him not, O thought appalling,
And turn Him not from thee away.
My soul gives answer deep within:
Thou blessed of the Lord, come in!
Do you, who at one time invited Jesus in to your heart and received Him with joy, still have Him as your guest?
Also today it is possible to sing songs of praise to Him one day, and cry for His crucifixion the next. It is comparatively easy to praise Him in the multitude of those who pay Him homage. Sunday and meeting Christianity is something quite different from week-day living; a Hosanna on the lips is not the same as the more articulate speech of everyday life.
Every Christian does well to examine himself with respect to how completely he has yielded himself to Christ. Too many of us give Him such little room in our hearts and homes. Christian friend! Ask yourself how much power the Savior has over your mind and moods, your words and deeds in everyday life. Is Jesus in your office? Does he guide you in your business transactions? Is He with you in the nursery and living room, as you mingle with children, servants and companions?
Many who praise Christ in the meetinghouse cry for His crucifixion at home and in the office, in business and in conduct.
Why is this so? It must be because Christ has not been given complete possession of the heart. Christ has gripped them, but they yield to Him with reservation. The Christian is to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ; this growth consists in giving Christ an ever greater place in the heart. This progressive occupation of the heart by Jesus must continue; if it ceases, our growth in grace does likewise. The sins which ruled us before we were saved now return to occupy us with increased intensity.
Christians! Open the door to every room in your heart to the Savior. Open to Him especially those rooms from which He has been excluded. Let Him into the weaknesses of your life; do not hide your defeats from Him. Do not take a roundabout road when you approach the Savior; go directly to Him. Open wide the gates of your heart so that the King may enter.
Just as certainly as we do that, so surely shall we hear, “Fear not,
daughter of Zion.” And into our hearts will come the King Who
brings comfort and hope.
Come Thou who spreadest joy and gladness,
Forever bide with me and mine,
And bring to those who sit in sadness
And gloom of death Thy light divine;
A voice comes from my soul within:
Thou blessed of the Lord, come in!
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