05 Mar Who are you crying for?
In the spirit of the season of Lent, I would like to focus the next few posts on the women in the Easter story. For the first one let us spend some time focusing on the women who were on the side of the road when Jesus was passing by on the way to His crucifixion.
Luke 23:27 states that “there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.” These women were emotional and overtaken by grief about what they were witnessing. By this point, Jesus had been stripped, beaten, hit in the head with a staff, spat on and had a crown of thorns placed on His head. By the time these women saw Him, He obviously looked like what He had been through and to top it all off He was carrying His own cross. At one point, Jesus must have been so physically weak in the human flesh from what He had already endured that the soldiers made a man named Simon carry the cross for Him.
It is unclear if the women in this verse were already active followers or supporters of Jesus or if these were women who had just heard about Him. Regardless, they grieved and had a heartfelt emotional reaction to His suffering. Their reaction was so evident, that He actually turned to them and commented on their moment of sadness (Luke 23:27-31). He asked them why they were crying for Him when they should be crying for themselves. He spoke prophetically about a time when a woman would be blessed to not have had any children; a time when people would beg the mountains to fall down on them. That was what they needed to be crying about. He wanted them to mourn not for what He was going through, but for the state of mankind.
Each Easter we become a spectator of the cross. We read scriptures, watch movies, listen to sermons and we fast and pray about Jesus’ journey to the cross. When is the last time we thought about the cross and truly grieved about the pain that Jesus went through and what He endured for our sins. How often do we take the opportunity during Lent (or anytime) to grieve for the fate of mankind? How often do we cry for the unsaved souls that will never celebrate Jesus’ life, death and resurrection?
These women stood out in the crowd to Jesus because of their reaction to His suffering but He called them to focus that grief on the fate of mankind. Just as He spoke to those women, He speaks to us today. Yes, we reflect on the fact that Jesus died for us and that He rose from the dead but during this Lenten season let us also reflect on the needs around us. Let us cry for those who are suffering among us and for those who will never know the beauty of eternal life in Christ. Jesus notices our attention on Him and He hears our prayers and sees our tears; however, to really distinguish ourselves with Him this season, we should focus our prayers and tears on the less than perfect state of our world.