Jesus gave an interesting lesson the last day that He lived. He had just endured an unjust trial. He was beaten. He had a crown of thorns on His head. He was made to carry a heavy cross to His final place of execution.
As His procession passed through the narrow streets of Jerusalem, people crowded on both sides of the street. Many were jeering and cursing Him. Then Jesus fell to the ground under the weight of the cross and looked over to the crowd and saw some women who were crying. He gave an unexpected lesson – “women of Jerusalem don’t cry for me, but cry for yourselves and your children.” (Luke 23:28)
What could He mean by that? He was the one enduring pain and humiliation. Why shouldn’t tears be shed for Him? Why did He tell the women to cry for themselves and their families? How could they be weeping for the wrong person?
The lesson for Holy Week of weeping for the wrong person might be:
1.) His Commitment – He was committed to doing God’s will even to death. His whole life had embodied this commitment. What He was doing on that Friday was a part of completing God’s will.
The big question for the women and us: Are we committed to doing God’s will?
2.) His Concern – He could love all people regardless of who they were or what they had done. His whole life had lived out the example of love. Read about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), and the woman at the well. (John 4:7-38)
The question for the women and us: How far does our love go? Is it only to people who are treating us well?
3.) His Conduct – He could forgive all people. He taught in the Lord’s Prayer that we are to forgive as God has forgiven us. He stated that if we do not forgive, we do not experience God’s forgiveness. Jesus was already forgiving the people who were doing this to Him. Some of the last words from the cross were “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
How well do we forgive. Do we want to get revenge or offer forgiveness? A forgiving spirit is the key that unlocks many of the problems of life.
4.) His Confidence – He had total confidence in God’s resurrection power. He knew He was going to die that afternoon, but He also knew that God would raise Him from the dead on Easter Sunday. He knew that.
The question for the women and us: How much do we believe in the resurrection? Is
it just a theological concept or is it a reality on which we are willing to stake our lives?
Weeping for the wrong person – Jesus knew who He was, what He was doing, and how God’s purpose fit into everything happening. The reason many of us weep for the wrong person might be because we lack that commitment and concern and conduct and confidence.
During this Holy Week – you probably will shed some tears. Be sure your tears are not misdirected. Learn and live the lesson of not weeping for the wrong person!