OLD JERUSALEM AND NEW

Opening Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you that you are King over all, and yet you love me so much you died for me and rose again.

Read LUKE 13:31-35

Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem

31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’[a]

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Footnotes

  1. Luke 13:35 Psalm 118:26

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

‘Lo! He comes with clouds descending, / once for favored sinners slain … Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! God appears on earth to reign.’1

Think Further

Jesus’ words are ominous. His fate and Jerusalem’s fate are inextricably linked. Zion, the city of God, where stood the temple enclosing the sacred ark of God, should have been the place where God’s name dwelt2 and from where God’s glory spread outward into the world. Instead, it had decayed from within, fallen into ungodliness, succumbed to foreign empires, and tolerated the rise of a corrupt religious leadership. Jerusalem had ignored and even killed God’s messengers – prophets such as Uriah, Zechariah, and those killed by Jezebel.3 Now Jerusalem was about to kill her own Messiah, not at the hand of Herod but on the orders of a pagan overlord, maneuvered by the religious leaders. Jesus knew that it would not be long before that same foreign empire would annihilate the city, leaving not one stone standing upon another.4

Mount Zion is probably in sight by now. Jesus is overcome by a complex of emotions, undoubtedly including dread of what he must first endure, but here his feelings are dominated by his sorrow about what might have been but now would never be. He longs to gather the people, to enfold and protect them, to be their Savior now, but they did not want him. Shortly, he will enter the city and his band of followers will shout ‘Blessed is he …’5 – but Jerusalem did not shout. Jerusalem would crucify him. After his ascension, the world would not see Jesus again, not until he returns to usher in the ‘new Jerusalem,’6 that is, the eternal kingdom of God. Then we will truly shout, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’7

Apply

We eagerly await the return of the Lord of eternity who can forgive us, cleanse us from our sins, and ready us for the kingdom. Anticipate with joy!

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, as I read about your sorrow over Jerusalem, I am reminded to pray for Israel. Pour out grace and mercy on your people; draw them to yourself.

Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by kingstar

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