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On the road to Calvary

By retired pastor Alan Dean,

Seventh-day Adventist

In the days leading up to His crucifixion Jesus shared many lessons for the Jews then and for future generations to come. During these days His words were pointing to the cross, the resurrection, sharing the gospel, and even to His second coming. Jesus’ death meant so much to the future of this world.

As Jesus was being led to Calvary, Luke 23:27 tells us that there were many sympathizers of Jesus along the road. Many were women, some of whom had been helpers of Jesus during His ministry. Some were people Jesus had healed. Others had received help from Jesus’ teachings and personal touch.  For all of them, seeing Jesus being led to His tortuous death brought anguish and wailing. They were stricken in their heart at this mistreatment of a righteous man.

But Jesus surprisingly responded to them by saying “Do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and your children. In His great love Jesus was not concerned for Himself, but for others. He was looking at the agony and horrors that were to take place only 39 years later when Jerusalem was conquered and destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. This was a gruesome experience for the Jews who refused to surrender to the Roman army. Many died of starvation. However, the Christians all escaped without harm because they believed and responded to Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24:15, 16.

But I believe Jesus was also thinking of the many people who would suffer and die for the sake of the gospel in the centuries ahead. This, too, was unjust and terrifying, and led many to weep. The martyrdom of Christians continues to this day.

In verse 30 Jesus says we should also weep for the lost, those crying for the mountains and the hills to fall on them and cover them. This is the exact description of the lost given in Revelation 6:16 in the end-time as they look up and see Jesus coming. They know they are unsaved and they want to hide from the brightness of His coming by calling for the mountains to fall on them.  In their sins they are unable to face Jesus.

What a time then to weep. The “sheep and the goats are separated” (Matthew 25:31-33).  The saved will weep for the people who have shunned Jesus’ loving call to repent and be saved. As Jesus comes they know it’s too late. We, today, need to take heed and be certain of our saving relationship with Jesus. The signs of Jesus’ return given in Matthew 24 and elsewhere are fast fulfilling.

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