Weeping Over Jerusalem
Luke 19: 41 And as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, (42) Saying, If you knew in this day, even you, the things that are for your peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. (43) For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a rampart before you, and will encircle you, and will press you in on every side, (44) And they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.
As the Lord Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, He was not joyful. Instead, He lamented over the city. Of all those in the crowd, He must have been the only one who lamented. All the others were celebrating, rejoicing, and shouting praises to God. The disciples may have said to one another, “What a celebration this is! Our King will soon take over the country. We are His followers, and we shall participate in His ruling.” This may have been the thought of the Lord’s followers, but it certainly was not His thought. “As He drew near, seeing the city, He wept over it” (v. 41).
The Greek word rendered “level” in verse 44 may also be translated “dash.” Jerusalem was leveled, dashed, to the ground in A. D. 70 by Titus with the Roman army. The word “visitation” in verse 44 refers to the Savior’s first coming to visit them in grace in the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 2:10-14).
In His lamentation the Lord seemed to be saying, “O Jerusalem, poor Jerusalem! I wish that you knew your days. This is the day of your visitation, but you do not recognize it. You are not grateful for the visitation I am rendering you. You need to realize that not long after I die and am resurrected and ascend to the heavens, a different day will come upon you. In that day you will be leveled to the ground.” Later, the Roman army destroyed the city of Jerusalem. The narration of Josephus shows in detail what a terrible destruction that was. In the midst of the celebration the Savior had sorrow instead of joy. He was about to make a triumphant entry into Jerusalem, but He was moved with compassion for the city.