After seeing Mel Gibson's “The Passion” movie, I was overwhelmed by the many sufferings our Lord endured on our behalf. But my emotional response to the film reminded me of a curious statement Jesus made in the midst of his horrifying journey through the streets of Jerusalem.
The Bible records: “A large number of people followed him, 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'" (Luke 23:27-28, NIV).
Many people have wept as they watched “The Passion” on screen — we can only imagine how many must have been weeping when they saw our Lord beaten and bloodied in real life. But what of this statement from Jesus? Why would He tell the women to weep for themselves? Surely they were not dying on crosses, brutalized and mercilessly tortured by demon-crazed guards.
While we look with “pity” and sorrow on the sufferings of the Savior, perhaps it would be appropriate for us to consider the fate of those who face the judgment of God. While we witness in stunning detail the crushing blows and grotesque sounds of torture that Jesus endured, it would be wise to consider the fact that much worse suffering (eternal) awaits those who refuse to repent.
Jesus doesn't want us to feel sorry for Him — He said it Himself. We should be weeping for those around us who will not let go of theirs sins — for they will face tragedy that lasts forever. Don't cry for Jesus when you see The Passion, cry for yourself and your children. This is what our rebellion has brought to the world. This is the price our Savior paid to bring us back.
Hebrews 10:29-31 asks, “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? . . . It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Challenge: When was the last time you wept over your sin? Over the lost world? Consider the sacrifice of Jesus. Are you ready to face the judgment of God?
To Read: Titus 3:3-8