Thursday, March 18, 2010

Weep for Yourselves

Luke 23:28 But turning to them Jesus said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 

28 στραφεὶς δὲ πρὸς αὐτὰς [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· θυγατέρες Ἰερουσαλήμ, μὴ κλαίετε ἐπ᾽ ἐμέ· πλὴν ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτὰς κλαίετε καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν,

Some wept as Jesus left for His final walk to Calvary.  This is altogether right as a grave injustice was about to be committed.  This was the most heinous sin ever done by mankind, so you would hope that there would be weeping.

However, Jesus saw past that.  He knew what He had already endured and what He was about to endure.  Yet He had compassion on the people.  He saw the hardness of their hearts.  These were a people who were given every advantage and yet still decided to spurn God.  Clearly this pained Him.

As a Christian it's easy for me not to give much thought to the Jew.  This is especially true now where it is not uncommon for someone to identify himself as a Jew and yet be either an atheist or agnostic.  I understand that this is particularly common in the nation-state of Israel.  This passage tells me that they need the gospel as much as any gentile.  In fact, they need to hear the gospel even more since they have been hardened over all these centuries.

Yes, the Jewish leaders did kill Jesus.  However, we need to look past that to the fact that it was our sin that sent Jesus to the cross.  And even more than that, we see that it was God who orchestrated the whole thing.  There is absolutely no room for anti-semitism.  Instead, there should be compassion and outreach for the θυγατέρες Ἰερουσαλήμ.

2 comments:

Joshua Allen said...

This passage also suggests some level of urgency in evangelizing.

From our Christian perspective, it *was* the greatest crime in history. However, the vast majority of Jews in town when it happened didn't think so, and most people alive today wouldn't have thought so. Just think about it -- if you were a mother holding your little boy's hand as Christ walked by carrying the cross, what would the most realistic reaction have been? You probably would say something to your child like, "Son, never do what he did. He blasphemed the temple and committed petty crimes, and now he is going to die for it. What a worthless waste of life!".

You would have used it as an object lesson to teach your kids what not to do. The majority of Jews in attendance voted to have him killed in place of a murderer. You can't get much more consensus than that.

So I think a key point of this passage is to realize that the people weeping were in the minority. And Christ's response shows that it's not really enough to be the only guy in your neighborhood who has some tenderness toward Christ. You don't get some special pass, with Christ saying "Good for you! You'll be dining with me in heaven!"

Jason said...

Joshua,

Thanks for commenting. I had never considered it from that perspective before and I quite agree with you.