Sunday, December 19, 2010

January 23 (Genesis 24; Matthew 23; Nehemiah 13; Acts 23)

Jesus amazes me! He was and is omniscient. Right? Of course He is and was. He was and is and will always be God in the flesh. While He walked this earthly sod Jesus, still fully God knew all things that were to happen to Him. By the time we arrive at Matthew 23 He knew He was headed to a painful, bloody cross. He knew that His own people, the people He came to save would, by mob violence, demand He go to that cross. Furthermore He knew that hypocritical religious leaders would be the ones to spearhead the mob and incite the crowd to follow through on their deplorable desire. He knew all of this and more.

This knowledge of Jesus, however, is not what amazes me most. What amazes me most about Jesus is His disposition towards the very orchestrators of His death. Oh, He gives them plenty of rebukes, and harsh rebukes at that (v.1-36). But notice what v. 37 tells us is His fundamental posture towards even those who seek to destroy Him.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”

Can you hear the lament in His voice? Luke 19 makes it clear that Jesus is weeping as He makes this lament. This is what truly amazes me. Jesus knows that these people are going to crucify Him in a few days and He…. Weeps for them! Truly the most mind-boggling aspect about the character of God has to be His love for us. While we were His archenemies Christ died for us!

Now here is the question that should occupy our thoughts: does our own heart beat thusly? When was the last time we wept over a lost loved one? When was the last time we wept over a lost enemy? I am typing to myself here! Some might balk at such a thought and tuck such an idea into the box of impossibilities. “Sure”, they might say, “Jesus had such love, but He was God. We are just humans. We can’t love like that.”

But then we hear from Paul in Romans 9:2 where he says that he “has great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish myself accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my…kinsmen according to the flesh.”

When the love of God takes proper root in our hearts the fruit that sprouts as a result will have a hint of “anguish” flavor. We will have great sorrow for those who reject the truth.

*Father, break our hearts and make them like yours!

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