28Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30Then ” ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ‘ 31For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Bloodied and beaten, Jesus is walking (or stumbling) to the place where He would be crucified. They grabbed Simon from Cyrene to carry the cross… and there were these women who were mourning and wailing for Him. “Do not weep for me…” Jesus is telling them they should be more concerned about themselves and their children. In the current state of things, how could he who is innocent be condemned to die? Verse 31 indicates that there will be worse days coming – days that will be truth worth mourning about. Men will be the cause. The tree will go “dry” and things will be bad. Evil will have its day – it’s coming. Weep for yourself… weep for your children that that day is coming. These words from a bruised Savior could mean a lot of things, I suppose. Maybe they are just the ramblings of a man in incredible pain who is about to die. Somehow I don’t think so. We read the chapter and forget that Christ was beaten severely prior to saying these words. The words yet to come from Him are amazing and filled with grace and love. Jesus was in full control of Himself on that Good Friday. So why these words? It seems that the main indea is that His beating, lashings and crucifixion is totally undeserved! Men are doing these things when the tree is “green.” Jesus was good. He had never sinned! He didn’t deserve this! If people can crucify Jesus, think of what other evil they are capable of! Jesus in the midst of the worse kind of injustice says, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (vs. 34). Jesus could say, “Don’t weep for me” and “Father forgive them” because He was looking pas this horrible event. Hebrews 12:2 says “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross…” Of course it’s all come to pass. Jesus was obedient through the cross (Phil 2) and now has been glorified!
James 1:2 comes to mind. “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of may kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces…” I can consider it joy because of Jesus. He endured, looking beyond the cross. I can endure and look beyond the trial. Jesus’ example of loving and forgiving others in the midst of great suffering and trial is inspiring to me. If He can do that, I should be able to love and forgive in the lesser things of human stupidity. I mean things that have a smaller toil on me than the crucifixion had on Jesus. Hebrews 12:3 – “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.”
Lord, thank You for enduring the cross for me and my salvation. Thank You for loving me and forgiving people throughout that horrible injustice. Remind me of You when lesser injustices come my way. I want to reflect You in this. Be glorified in me! Because of who You are and what You have done, You are worthy to be worshipped… worthy to be lived for… and I do.