We join Jesus today as He completes His work. This is the reason He came as a baby. The reason He taught the masses. The reason He called and equipped His disciples. The culminating act; His complete sacrifice.
He has already faced four inquisitions/trials and endured beatings and mocking. Now He will walk the road to Calvary and lay His life down. No one took His life, He gave it willingly.
Luke shares with us a moment on that famed rode that we don’t get to see in the other gospel accounts. We are told of a “great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for Him” (verse 27). This group was following Him and crying for Him. I don’t know if these were “professional mourners” or if they were people who supported Jesus.
Jesus stops in His procession towards the cross to address this group of people. I don’t know if they were honestly crying for Him and His situation but He tells them not to weep for Him. Instead He says to weep for themselves and for their children. Jesus words to this group lead me to believe that they were not His true followers. Jesus speaks of the end times to them at this point. “For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’” (verses 29-30).
These would not be the people rejoicing at His return but the ones hiding from Him instead. This would be the nation that rejected Him in spite of all He did for them. God’s chosen people whom He groomed through the ages. The ones chosen to receive Jesus first. The ones who rejected and killed Him without remorse.
Jesus’ next words had me wondering a bit. I’m going to share what I feel they say to me. I’m not offering it as THE interpretation though. Only my thoughts. “For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (verse 31).
I have a wood burning stove for heating my home. I know quite a bit about green and dry wood. When the wood is green it has just been cut. There is still moisture and sap throughout the pores of the wood. It is hard to get this kind of wood to burn. It takes an extremely hot fire or a LOT of time. The life is still fresh in it. As time goes by, the moisture in it begins to dry up. This kind of wood burns easily and is ideal for making a healthy fire.
Jesus was saying to the crowd that His message was fresh at that time. The life was freely flowing in it and evident in all that had been happening. He would soon be leaving to be with His Father. As the years would progress, those rejecting Him would find it easier to dismiss His truths. They would get further and further from the life. Easier to burn.
The Jewish religious leaders have moved further and further away from the truth of Jesus. They cried out for His blood and mocked Him openly while He hung on the cross. Then they began to openly persecute any who believed in Jesus and the truth. They completely disavowed ALL of His teachings today and actively wait for God to send them their savior. The life of the truth has dried up in them.
If only they had listened. If only they would listen now! What Jesus was about to do that day was for them. He walked that road to make things right between them and God. He loved them that much! While they mocked Him, He forgave them.
Lord Jesus, You could so easily have walked away from all of this. But You chose to stay out of love. I wonder if any of those following You that day accepted the truth. Thank You that as time goes by You bring me closer to Your life giving flow instead of me drying out. I don’t want to be dry wood. I want to be always green. Always soaking in Your truth. Bring me back any time I begin to wander.