[Listen to the sound file while you read — two inches to the right of this line on this page, marked “Aubre’s Gift”]
Preparing our hearts for Good Friday and Easter
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
Adapted from the account of
Hosea 10:8 and Luke 23:27-32
The women of Jerusalem mourn.
And there followed Him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for Him. But turning to them Jesus said,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say,
‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
Then they will begin to say to the mountains,
‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’
For if they do these things when the wood is green,
what will happen when it is dry?”
Jesus—beaten and bruised and bloody beyond recognition—walks toward His destiny. Simon the Cyrene is next, carrying the cross that will lift Him up to His death. Following behind, multitudes of people are shouting, and the women of Jerusalem are mourning that no one is showing mercy to the merciful One.
And then Jesus turns around.
Perhaps Simon is taking a break. Perhaps he walks on past Jesus, and now the Savior is in the rear of the procession, face to face with the mourners.
He who is in distress and discomfort, “a dead man walking,” turns and warns the daughters of Jerusalem.
Even now He remains the teacher.
One last time He seeks to draw their attention to the wickedness of men’s hearts and the beauty of His love.
Because it was the wickedness of men’s hearts that motivated His steps.
He would glorify the Father by laying His life down for the sheep—sheep that were wicked, sheep that were corrupt—sheep like us.
He would paint a picture of the tenderness of God toward sinners . . .
. . . with His body as the canvas
. . . and His blood as the paint.
“Lord Jesus, these are some of Your last words.
Even in these moments You were teaching.
You comforted those who mourned.
Surely, Your compassion never fails. Help me to live passionately for and like You.
Help me to live, even to the last moments of my life,
so as to teach others of the greatness of Your love, and the beauty of Your holiness.
For Your glory I ask this, Amen.”