Tuesday in the Thirty-Second Week of Ordinary Time

Luke 23:27-31

The Cross Brings Judgment, Too

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).

“And there followed him a great multitude of people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him” (Luke 23:27).  Jesus is now walking the Via Dolorosa, or “path of suffering.”  There are those who are glad to see this spectacle, bloodthirsty people who are just as happy to watch gladiators fight to the death in the Roman Coliseum.  Not so, these women.  These are human beings, the image of God within them, though tarnished as others, yet not so desecrated with love of cruelty.  They “lament” for Jesus as he stumbles along this painful path, a word not used so much today, but refers to passionate expressions of sorrow or grief, perhaps with words or loud groans.  The Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament is a classic example of laments which draw upon the purest emotions of godly grief.  I am of the opinion that the Church of our day needs to learn to lament over sin rather than to treat it so lightly.

But Jesus’ reply to them is one of little consolation.  They’ve no need to weep over him, though such sincere gestures are certainly praiseworthy, but instead they should weep for themselves and their children.  Jesus then prophesies the near future when judgment would visit the city.  How blessed will the barren wombs be that see not the suffering of their own children.  Then will people say to the mountains, “Fall on us,” and to the hills, “Cover us!”  Jesus was speaking to the destruction of Jerusalem which happened forty years after his crucifixion and resurrection, of which in another place, he said, “Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days” (Luke 21:23).  His prophecy also has reference to the end of time when men shall call upon the rocks to “fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:16).  The passion of our Lord is the salvation of his people whereby they shall be exonerated and gifted with heaven; but it is the damnation of those whom he never knew whereby they shall be judged for the Son’s murder and punished with hell.  For if they behave like this during good times (our Lord’s first coming), then what should they expect when he returns at the end of time?  The cross is judgment for the wicked.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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