But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. "How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation." - Luke 19: 41-44 (NLT)
The palm branches had already been laid down. The shouts of hosanna; still ringing in the Jerusalem air. The Pharisees stewing in their hatred and plots for the demise of Jesus Christ. The triumphal entry has been accomplished as foretold by the Prophet Zechariah.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. - Zechariah 9:9 (NKJV)
The people knew of the prophecies. They were waiting for their Messiah. The Pharisees knew of the prophecies as well and the threat they posed to their power structure. You see, once the pomp and pageantry of the entry is over, Jesus surveys the city of Jerusalem. The City of David. God's city. He is not fooled by the warm welcome and shouts of adulation. He knows the cross still lies before Him. He knows that the shouts of hosanna will turn into shouts of "crucify Him!" He knows that those that shout the loudest are often the least sincere.
He knows the reasons. He knows that many simply follow their religious leaders blindly - a bad habit that continues to this day. He understands that many are simply deceived by those who in the name of God advance their own carnal causes. He knows that others viewed their needs only in earthly terms. A deliverance from the oppression of Rome but not from their own sins. Even His own disciples would fall prey to this flawed thinking. To this day people who claim to follow Jesus and gleefully shout His name are in it for only worldly reasons. They too have missed the point. So Jesus weeps. He weeps because He loves Jerusalem. He loves the lost sheep of Israel. In the same manner He loves the church and the lost sheep in this world. He still weeps over us because He loves us. Not with some sappy, fleshly, emotional love but in the deepest way possible for God:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. - 2Peter 3: 9 (NKJV)
Beloved, God does not want anyone on this earth to perish. The very people Jesus is weeping over in the key verses are some of the very people who will demand He be crucified just one week later. Jesus does not have our prejudices and biases. He does not hold grudges and unforgiveness like we do. No one is beyond the redeeming power of Jesus Christ but they must understand that He is the way to peace, as verse 42 tells us. He is not "a" way to peace with God. He is the only way.