The Lament of Jesus

December 19, 2021

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” (Matthew 23:37-39).

Jerusalem represented the nation of Israel as its capital city. Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost (Luke 19:10), beginning with the Jews (Matthew 15:22-24), for He was sent to be their Messiah, Redeemer, Savior. But they rejected Him, and in so doing they ultimately and finally rejected God who called them, in Abraham, to be His chosen people. The ensuing result was the complete demise of the nation, which caused Jesus to cry bitterly for them.

In His lament for the Israelites, Jesus no doubt reflected on their spiritual and physical crimes, the many mercies of God poured out upon them, and the certainty of their salvation if they had only received Him as Messiah. Scripture tells us that Jesus stands before the throne of God interceding for us (Romans 8:34) as Satan stands there accusing us (Job 1:6-11; 2:1-5). I believe that to be true. I also believe the Holy Spirit of God, who lives among us and in us, grieves over our sinfulness despite the many mercies God has poured out upon us through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:26-30). Though our sins have been judged and Jesus has taken our punishment for sin upon Himself when He died on the cross, our unfaithfulness grieves the Holy Spirit not only because our sin cost Jesus His life, but it costs us our joy, peace, fruitfulness, and success.

After all Jesus had said done among the people of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, and after all the acclamations of the multitude, the joy of the Lord turned into sorrow for the devastation that was about to come on a guilty people. No longer would God protect them like a mother hen protects her chicks. No longer would their house, the Temple, be the rallying place of faith, the symbol of God’ presence among them, for it would be destroyed. No longer would God speak to them through prophets and priests, for their greatest Prophet and High Priest would leave them.

The day of mercy was over. The day of salvation and protection, peace and provision, had passed. The day of hope of deliverance and restoration to greatness had given way to the day of long and dreadful suffering. Jesus will no longer be their Messiah of mercy but will their Lord of justice until that day when their spiritual eyes will be opened, their hearts of stone turned to hearts of flesh, and their lips cry out, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. That day has not yet come, but it will come amid the greatest Tribulation the world will ever see (Romans 11:25-29),

“Lord Jesus, forgive us again of the sins that caused You to suffer and have caused us to suffer. Your lament cuts us to the heart that we, like Jerusalem, should grieve You so. May we rededicate ourselves to serve You and not sin against You until that day we see You face to face. This I ask in Your holy name, Amen.”


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