August 25, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Savior at Jerusalem
“It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.”
“And when He had thus spoken, He went before,
ascending to Jerusalem.” Luke 19:28
His Mourning over the City
Luke presents one of the most touching scenes in the Gospel records when he tells us about the Lord Jesus and His approach to the city (ch 19:41). Knowing all that was about to unfold, the injustice and callousness, the hatred and malice He would endure, He wept over the city. He never thought of Himself. There was never a moment of self-pity; He was thinking of them.
Earlier He had lamented that they were choosing the fox who would destroy rather than the hen Who would have protected (Luke 13:34, 35). But now He was viewing the city and the days were few before the events foreordained in eternity would occur. With a heart of compassion for the future desolation of the city, He wept.
Later, going out to skull hill, women would line the streets of the Via Dolorosa, weeping for Him. He was more concerned with their impending sorrow than His own present sorrow.
The worst that men could do did not alter His heart.
His Murder in the City
Jerusalem was the city of “The Great King.” Yet when He came, He was rejected and sentenced to death. It is Luke who informs us of the awful charges brought to bear against Him before Pilate: “perverting the people” and inciting rebellion by teaching the people not to pay tribute to Caesar. With blood thirst cries and Satanically inspired malice, they demanded His blood. A murderer and thief is released and He is sentenced to crucifixion.
He was brought out with two others, malefactors, and taken to Calvary. He was given the central place as though the least deserving of life and the most deserving of shame and ridicule. Their mockery filled the air; their sense of vindication led to gloating and glee. “He saved others” they cried in mockery. Yet, as if in a response to their cry, He saved another, a thief by His side. Their mockery was met by His mercy.
And God would have the last word. Luke alone tells us that the centurion said, “Certainly this was a righteous Man” (v 47), contradicting all the false charges placed against the Lord Jesus.
His Message to the City
Resurrection vindicated the Son of God. All the accusations and charges of men were shown to be wrong. He is God’s Son, the righteous Servant of Jehovah, and the spotless Man. He appeared in the upper room to His own and opened their understanding to the Word of God. But He also gave them direction for their service. They were to preach repentance and remission of sins to all nations (v 47). But the amazing condition was that they were to begin at Jerusalem. They were to go to the city that had placed Him on a cross and tell them first, (give them the first opportunity) to have their sins forgiven! Jerusalem first! We would have placed them last; He was thinking of them first. Imagine the people who had screamed for His blood hearing that they could be forgiven; the soldiers who pierced Him and those who paraded past Him in mockery – forgiveness for all.
“For how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty” (Zech 9:17).
Having the end in view
Onward He moved unto
Gethsemane to face,
To die in wondrous grace,
At the appointed place