And there followed Him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for Him (Luke 23:27).
Read Luke 23:26-31.
Today is Palm Sunday. We remember the great crowds of Jewish pilgrims who filled the streets of Jerusalem and cheered Jesus as their victorious King. Now, barely five days later, they line the streets to jeer and heckle Him on His way to execution.
Jesus is too weak and weary to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. He tries with all His might, but keeps falling beneath it. The flogging and the beatings have taken their toll. Finally, the Roman soldiers enlist a man named Simon to carry it for Him.
But not everyone in the crowd taunts Jesus. Many still believe in Him, and are greatly perplexed and grief-stricken to see Him going to His death. In shock and horror they mourn and lament for Him.
Jesus could have joined them in self-pity, but instead He turns aside their weeping and lamenting. He warns of the future when they and their children will suffer at the hands of the Romans because the Jewish leaders will not humble themselves, confess their sins, and believe He is their Savior.
As we enter this Holy Week and remember Jesus' sufferings and passion, He doesn't want us weeping for Him. He wants us to weep for ourselves-for our sins-just as Peter did when the rooster crowed, and he saw Jesus' face. We are to weep for our sins that deserve God's judgment; then look in faith to Jesus' cross where that payment was made in full. There we see God's mercy and forgiveness.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You carried my sins to that place of execution, a load I could never carry. At the foot of Your cross help me see my sin rightly, and turn from it in bitter tears, that I may find in You full forgiveness and peace. Amen.
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