Luke 19:29-34-This verse begins the week of the crucifixion. As Jesus approaches Jerusalem, He sends two disciples ahead to find a colt for Him to ride on. This is a fulfillment of the prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9. The site of Bethpage is unknown, but Bethany was on the southeast side of the Mount of Olives.
Luke 19:35-40-As He entered Jerusalem the people began to celebrate His entrance by singing Psalm 118:26. The Psalm spoke of the entrance of a king (cf. v. 11) and they were referring it to Him. This is commonly referred to as the “Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem” of Jesus. The Pharisees told Him to stop them...but Jesus said if He did so, the very stones would take up their cry.
Luke 19:41-44-As Jesus approached Jerusalem, He reached a spot along the road where He could see the Temple, the dwellings surrounding it, and much of the city. When He got to that point, His heart went out and He wept over the city, because He knew what lay ahead in its future. Jesus predicts the destruction of Jerusalem...because the people refused to recognize Who He was when He came.
The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
In 70 A.D., the Romans would totally destroy Jerusalem. The Jewish historian, Josephus, in his History of the Jewish War, books IV-VI wrote:
“While the sanctuary was burning…neither pity for age nor respect for rank was shown. On the contrary, children and old people, laity and priests alike were massacred” (VI.271).
“The emperor ordered the entire city and the temple to be razed to the ground, leaving only the loftiest of the towers…and the portion of the wall enclosing the city on the west…All the rest of the wall that surrounded the city was so completely razed to the ground as to leave future visitors to the spot no reason to believe that the city had ever been inhabited” (VII.103).
(New Testament Commentary, The Gospel of Luke, William Hendriksen, pp. 878-879)
For a timeline of the history of Jerusalem and additional information about its destruction see:
Luke 19:45-48-Jesus entered the Temple and cast out the merchants, saying, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you have made it a robbers' den" (cf. Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; see January 31, Matthew 21:1-22). Each day He would teach in the temple. The Jewish leaders were trying to destroy Him. But the people "were hanging upon His words" (:48).
The Passion Week
The time frame from the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem as found in these verses through His resurrection is commonly referred to as the “Passion Week” or “Holy Week”. It is helpful to have in mind a clear picture of the events that took place during this time. The link below provides a description of those events and a visual timeline.
Prayer: Lord, help me to hear Your voice...and let me hang onto every word that You speak.