SUMMARY: Today is Monday of Holy Week. Discover the incredible beauty of Christ’s love for you as we journey through this day in history with the greatest man who ever lived. In today’s Resolute Podcast, discover the deep empathy of God.
Today is Monday of Holy Week and I think is a noble task to spend time this week reflecting on the Passion of Christ and the final events of Christ’s life. This week I want to guide you through a few thoughts as we head into Sunday. You know I think we often unintentionally cheapen resurrection Sunday when we don’t take the time to reflect on the events of this week. This year I want to challenge you with a short thought each day, as we travel the passion week with Christ. Now I am going to be drawing attention to a few details of Jesus’ last week, but I especially want to consider how Jesus might have felt this week. I am setting out with this goal so we can deeply connect with Sunday and celebrate not only the even of being with family, putting on Sunday’s best, and heading to church for an event but in hopes of creating a spiritual connection to this, incredible day. Each of the coming days I want to give you a five-minute thought that will give you something to reflect on and act on as we head into Sunday. And it is my hope that this will bless you spiritually. You might also share these thoughts with a friend or family members as a way to influence their experience on Sunday. Today is Monday. There were a few occurrences on this day in Jesus’ life. These include: • His departure from Bethany and return to Jerusalem which was a short distance from this neighboring town. • On his was Jesus curses a fig tree which was fruitless. • Jesus then weeps over Jerusalem. • As he enters the temple grounds, Jesus scolds the temple of the money changers that were charging extraordinarily high exchange rates for temple offerings. • Before he leaves the city, he peeks into the Temple area. • And then heads back to Bethany for the evening to stay with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. With all these happening I just want to focus our attention on one of these incidents. It is the occurrence of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Here is how the text reads in Luke chapter 19 verses 41-44. 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” We probably recall two moments in Jesus’s life that he wept. One was here, and the other one is at Lazarus’ grave. There is a unique similarity in the purpose of Jesus’ weeping in both situations. His heart breaks for our lack of belief and faith in God. And for me, this is a moment we get to see into the heart of our God for us. I have had a few times in my life that has brought deep sadness and uncontrollable weeping. For sure one of these moments was the moment I began my search for God. It was 1990, and I was living a few hours from home. At this point in life, I had made numerous bad decisions that led me to a crisis in my life that was continuing to worsen. My life was a mess at this point, and I felt I was going nowhere fast. On this day, I made a decision to return home to my grandparent’s house, who were the people who raised me. At the time, I owned a 1957 Volkswagen Truck, that had transmission problems and was jammed into second gear. So here I am, driving down the freeway, with a transmission that was failing, a song by an old poet came on the transistor radio in my vehicle. It was a man named Bob Dylan singing a song entitled “Like a Rolling Stone.” The words of this song brought me too weeping. Here is the chorus from the song. “How does it feel, how does it feel? To be without a home. Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone.” At this moment – uncontrollable weeping. I mean the full-fledged eye swelling, dripping nose kind of weeping. I will never forget this moment. Crawling down the freeway at 30mph with cars flying by at 70mph, wind blowing in my hair, eye’s swelling, and tears falling. And I didn’t care as passersby witnessed the moment. My heart was broke over decisions I had made, and I was in search for a different way of life because none of my choices were working. Which led to a decision to follow Christ in the months that followed. While some may see this as a moment of weakness, I look back on this as a great moment of strength. Slightly embarrassing, maybe, but it was honest, and what I felt at this time in my life. Sorrow from my lostness. As I look back at this time, I was sad because I was lost. I was confused about the present and was very unsure of the future. I felt the impact of numerous poor decisions, which left me feeling empty. And the same of heading home to ask forgiveness and pursue a new life was not exciting. However, I had no other choice. Much like the prodigal son, I was feeling the shame and regret of numerous decisions and looking for a better path in the future. Now I must clarify my weeping, and Jesus’ weeping is very different. And here is the difference. While I was weeping for myself, Jesus was not. Jesus was crying for God’s people. For the hope of this great city, the people of Israel, and for the future of God’s people. Jesus’ reason for weeping is unique. He never saw his situation as something to weep about, he understood it as his path. Was drove him to cry was his love for God’s people, and specifically, their lack of trust in God that impacted their eternity. Now that is deep empathy. Only in recent years would I say that I am coming to know this type of empathy. The class of deep empathy that breaks for the people around me and their eternities. The man who heart breaks for my wife, children, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers and how they will spend their eternity. A constant focus on eternal matters that drives the core of my being in the direction of a greater place of higher value. So today my challenge for you is this. Empathize with those around you. The people we know are not just employees, neighbors, friends, or relatives. The people around you are spiritual beings with an eternal destination that awaits them. Love them, pray for them, and weep for them. And do this knowing that on this day in history Christ wept for you!