Then ” ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ‘ For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:30-31 (NIV)
They have condemned Him to death. Now they are leading Jesus off to be crucified. They have ridiculed Him. They have slandered Him. They have struck Him however they can. People who refuse to open their hearts to recognize the Presence of God with us here in this Man Jesus, are doing whatever they can to hurt Him. They stoop to lies. They invent all kinds of horrible ways to make Him suffer. He has been an affront to their pride and personal agendas. So they simply have to make Him pay for it. If they can do away with Jesus, then they will be free to chase their own desires again. So they load Him with a heavy cross. Some women who care for Jesus are morning this cruel treatment of our Lord. Jesus turns to them with a prediction. But what is He trying to say? Who is His message for? Could it be for us?
Do we ever stop to look at the times in which we live? Do we take the time to compare the words of Jesus to what is happening now? Can we see any relevance? Can we sense His words speaking to us in our day? With all the struggles and strife we face today, do we get the sensation that the Saviour is directing His messages to us as we learn of them? Are we honest enough with ourselves to actually let His words teach us? Do we write ourselves into His stories and into His warnings? Do we sense the urgency of His Presence with us? Are we even looking for it?
As Jesus warns the women who followed Him that day, He had a word of encouragement for them. He did not want them crying over the fact that He was mistreated and killed. He wanted to give them a perspective which would constructively help them when He was no longer there in physical body. Did He want to brace their faith for rough times to come? Instead of focusing on the bad scene before them, was He trying to show them to expect this kind of reaction from the world? What do we hear Him saying to us today? Is He asking us to take heart? Is He asking us not to focus too hard on the scene we find ourselves in? Is He directing our hearts and our focus to what God is working on? Is He trying to draw us steadily heavenward? Is He trying to set our souls firmly in the Lord? Is He asking us to look for Heaven and the Holy Spirit? What is our reaction to what we hear? Are we going to keep morning the strife and pain around us? Or are we going to accept His encouragement? Are we going to look forward and know He is working out His great plan of redemption? Are we going to bolster our faith and dedication to Him to the point where our relationship will carry us through whatever may still be to come?
Dear Jesus, every text and every word You have given may draw us closer to You. Please teach us how to do just that. Draw us closer to You with what we learn each day. Prepare us please for good times and for bad. Let us stand with You and follow You through whatever must still come. Keep our eyes and our hearts on Heavenly Goals. Do not let us fret over the temporary struggles and strife. Teach us that You hold us safe for our Father and that You are working out His great plan for us whether we see it or not. Let us imitate You in that even while we are mistreated, we remain focused firmly on God above!