All torn up

by Mike Benson

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt (Luke 19:28-36). Some folks were giddy with excitement while others were furious (Luke 19:37-39).

Part of the crowd welcomed Christ as their earthly sovereign whom they thought had come to establish the Davidic kingdom and overthrow the Roman empire.

A smaller segment of the people experienced anger towards Jesus because they interpreted his ride into the city as rank arrogance and blasphemy. Somewhere between all of this praise and verbal aggression, Jesus cried.

“Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it” (Luke 19:41).

It’s interesting to note that according to the Greek, the word “wept” in verse Luke 19:41 is different from the word used of Jesus at Lazarus’ tomb.

The word in John 11:35, means “to weep silently.” But the word here in Luke 19, refers to laments and sobs. It’s the same word employed in Luke 8:52, when folks were upset over the death of Jarius’ daughter.

Think about it for just a moment. Jesus didn’t just weep and cry over Jerusalem. He sobbed; He got all torn up.

God has:

  • chosen
  • nurtured
  • loved
  • forgiven
  • chastened
  • protected
  • and restored her.

And yet she rejected and killed the prophets–and would soon crucify the Son of God. And just as she was judged by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., she would again be judged, in A.D. 70, by the Romans.

Josephus claims that 1,100,000 people were killed during the siege of Jerusalem, and that 97,000 were captured and enslaved. H.H. Milman, in The History of the Jews, notes:

“The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination.”

The sad thing about it all was that Jerusalem refused to see what was going to happen to her again (cf. vv. 43-44; Matthew 24:2). She was blind to her own iniquities and inevitable doom.

But Jesus wasn’t; He could see her sins and deficiencies all too well. He knew her streets would run red with blood. And that got him “all torn up.” He didn’t just weep, he sobbed.

May I ask a personal question, dear reader?

What gets you all torn up?

  • As you contemplate the spiritual plight of millions who are lost in sin and headed for eternity in a devil’s hell (Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 7:21-23), what gets you all torn up?
  • As you think about your own deliberate sins and how they separate you from the pardon of Jehovah (Hebrews 10:26-31), what gets you all torn up?
  • As you ponder loved ones who embrace religious error and division (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4), what gets you all torn up?
  • As you recall the awful price paid on Calvary’s mount on your behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21), what gets you all torn up?

Luke says that Jesus sobbed. He got all torn up.

Think about it.

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Mike Benson

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