O JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM
April 7, 2019
Here in our Gospel passage, we see Jesus where He has just returned to Jerusalem for the last time. It’ won’t be long before He is arrested and crucified. His sorrow for them was overwhelming and He took a moment to express His love and His compassion for His people in a unique warm, and tender way.
First, it was a sheltering love.
Now, you know that I was raised in the suburbs of the city, and you have to have a rural sense of some things to catch wat’s really going on in Jesus’ dealings with the people. I haven’t lived on a farm, but I’ve seen this. And you’ve seen—or you can recognize– how a hen protects her chicks. There they are in the yard pecking at the ground, catching a cricket or pulling up a worm seemingly without a care in the world. Mother hen clucks occasionally and the little chicks are saying “Chirp!Chirp!Chirp!” then, a dog gets close, or the shadow of a hawk comes by, and that hen clucks out an alarm and flaps and the little chicks take off toward her. She fluffs up and a dozen chicks scoot up under her. And late at night when it’s cold and windy they make it over to the nest and they all disappear under the shelter of wings where it’s warm and safe. She is their shelter from a cold and dangerous world.
I remember as a little boy there was no place in the world that I felt more secure than in my mother’s arms. Certainly, I felt that my Dad was the strongest, wisest person in the world, and he always took care of us, but in the middle of the night when I had a nightmare it was Mom I wanted. When I was sick or hurt she was the one who comforted me. When my feelings were hurt and needed reassurance it was Mom I went to.
Notice that as Jesus is weeping over the city it is this kind of sheltering love that He speaks of. It is a desperate kind of love. He saw the suffering of His people. Pain. Despair. Hopelessness. Loneliness. It was a world of danger; sin and death. Jesus so much wanted to share His love with them, to protect them, and to save them, but they would not. And Jesus wept for them.
Things aren’t so different today. It is still a harsh world we live in. We go through our lives and when things get really bad we want Mom to turn to. Maybe you’re here today suffering and needing to be sheltered and loved. For many of us, Mom is no longer with you and you miss her . . . a lot. Or maybe your Mom was never around, or just didn’t seem to care. I want you to know that Jesus is here for you and He cares more than you can imagine. He wants you to crawl into His lap and let Him hold you and shelter you when you’re scared, or hurting.
- Jesus’s was a suffering love!
I had a friend who would tell me stories about the ducks they had at their farm. Lots of springs they had ducks that made nests and laid their eggs in the yard. They would make nests in bushes, tall grass, or just in corners of the fence. When my friend’s kids were little, they had a duck that made a nest in a tuft of tall grass and laid her eggs. The kids would get excited as each day they’d walk out and check on her and offer her some bread. The day that family discovered her ducklings were hatching, they noticed fire ants were crawling all over her. She was covered with them and she was shivering in pain, but would not leave her ducklings. She chose to suffer intense pain rather than leave her little ones. The family ended up moving her and the brood and cleaning off the ants and most of the ducklings lived. That mother duck would have stayed there until she was eaten alive rather than abandon the little ones.
Listen again to a familiar passage from Isaiah. This is Isaiah. 53:2-5:
For he grew up before him like a
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that
we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should
He was despised and rejected by men–
a man of sorrows, and acquainted
and as one from whom men hide
he was despised, and we esteemed
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our
he was bruised for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that
made us whole;
and with his stripes we are healed.
- Jesus’ love is a self-sacrificing love!
One type of bird I find amazing is our country’s symbol, the Bald Eagle. The female eagle builds her nest very high, away from predators, and takes great care of her young. Each night she covers the little birds to keep them warm away from the cold wind. Each day, though, she goes out to search for food. Since eagles are predators, that means she must find fresh meat for them each day. She goes out looking for nourishment for her brood, and she might bring back a fish, a rabbit, or whatever meat she can find. There is not usually any anxiety to this, because they are excellent hunters.
At times, though, when game is scarce she has to struggle to find enough food to keep them alive. I read something that is interesting about eagles. If this mother eagle cannot find enough food for them, she will actually tear out piece s of her own flesh to feed them. There she sits, bleeding and suffering, so that the little ones can live. Can you imagine a love so deep that one would sacrifice their own flesh in order to give life to another?
Well, this is exactly what Christ did for you
and me. I Peter 3:19 says,
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.
- Jesus’s is a sorrowful love!
There are the killdeer birds. The mother killdeer will draw you away from the nest pretending to be injured. Once while cutting grass, my friend who had ducks in his yard, couldn’t see the nest until he was on top of it. The killdeer went back and forth all day crying out a desperate sound over the destruction of her nest and eggs.
Many’s the mother who has struggled and sacrificed and suffered in raising her children. She has loved her little ones deeply and has had so many hopes and dreams for her children. Often, even though she has done her very best, that child goes down the wrong path and it absolutely breaks her heart. For some it may be a child that turns to drugs or alcohol and destroys their life. For others it may be a child whose life is forever altered by improper sexual relationships or ones which are abusive.
When being disciplined or receiving instruction many youth only see the parents saying, “NO.” They complain about their parents and say thing like “all they do is nag me”; “my parents just don’t understand”; or “they’re so not cool.” The children don’t ever really understand that the reason they say the things they do to them is because we love them. It is only when you’re older and have children yourself that you really understand your own parents. Right?
I know of many Moms and Dads that have spent many days in anguish and spent nights weeping over the bad mistakes their children have made, and many parents have literally died of a broken heart for their children.
** at the funeral home you can hear them pleading . . . ‘Son, why didn’t you listen to me . . . .’ ** as the AIDS test results come in for their daughter . . . a desperate, pleading voice . . . .
This is the passion we see in Jesus as He looks out over the city of Jerusalem.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gather chicks under her wings, yet you would
2,.000 years ago He showed His love to the world. Most of the people were unwilling to receive Him then. T+
+hey rejected His love and suffered greatly because of their decision
Jesus’ cry still reaches out to you and me today. He loves you so much, and He wants to have a loving relationship with you. He wants to shelter you in His arms when you are hurting, heal you when you’re sick, and comfort you when you’re crying. Most of all, though Jesus wants to give you eternal life and give you hope! His greatest desire today is to share His love with you. So, are you and I willing to receive His live today?