Lenten Devotion: Tears for the Holy City

…And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Luke 19:39-40).

Read Luke 19:39-44

Jesus enters Jerusalem with a large crowd joyfully singing His praises. Some Pharisees come out of Jerusalem and urge Jesus to silence His supporters. But Jesus refuses; this King will have His rightful praise. Even if the people remain silent, the stones themselves will cry out.

In a few days the Pharisees will have their way. These praises will fall silent as the crowds begin shouting, “Crucify, crucify Him!” Reaching the ridge of Jerusalem Jesus begins sobbing. If only the city realized how easily it could escape disaster. All its citizens have to do is turn from their wrongs and trust in Jesus. Woefully, that great peace is hidden from their eyes.

Jesus’ tears flow because His all-knowing eyes see what will happen here in 40 years. He sees the Roman legions arriving, encircling the city, and cutting down the trees to build their siege weapons. He sees violence and disease breaking out through the doomed metropolis. He sees starvation and plague ravaging those who remain. He sees the Romans breaking through the city walls and savagely attacking the last defenders at the temple walls. He sees the temple in flames and the defenders being slaughtered, as they turn from their Roman attackers in a desperate attempt to extinguish the fires. He sees the temple reduced to rubble, with not one stone left upon another.

And He weeps bitterly because all this is so needless. If only they would recognize God graciously visiting them through His Son.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Your heart broke at the senseless devastation Jerusalem would suffer because of its foolish unbelief. Guard my heart and mind against unbelief, so I may live with You in heaven, and not suffer eternally in hell. Amen.

*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.

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