On: August 22, 2015 | By: SWLadmin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
A large number of people followed Jesus, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? Luke 23:27-31
Today follows on from yesterday, in that Jesus warns those who are following Him, literally, that they will find themselves having to carry their own cross before long. This probably refers to the Fall of Jerusalem thirty years later, when invading armies ransacked the city. The crowds that had bayed for Jesus’s blood, would be nothing compared to the rampaging hoard on that day.
Do I imagine that living out the Christian faith will be a walk in the park, characterised by sunshine and pleasure? If so, I will be disappointed, for the reality is that, rather than a park, we live our lives out on a battlefield. The battle is not, as it may appear to be, with those aggressive and awkward people around me, it is a spiritual battle for global domination and control of history. Listen to the apostle Paul once more: Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Yet, we need not fear, for the victory is already won …. by Jesus on that dreadful, but glorious hillside that we are following Jesus towards. Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 15:57
Jesus defeated death and changed the world forever. We too are called to conqueror the world and be history makers. The uncomfortable bit is that Jesus achieved it at his point of greatest weakness – on the cross. Will we follow in His footsteps onto our own battlefield of opportunity?
Father God, as I watch Jesus approach his terrible and tragic death, I don’t know whether to rejoice at the victory He bought, or cry at the suffering He endured. So I shall do both, for that seems to best capture how life on Earth unfolds before us. Amen