This week we will be focusing on the Stations of the Cross, the series of events on Jesus’ last day leading up to His crucifixion. Depictions of these events can often be found in the form of paintings or carvings in churches or cathedrals. Of the twelve stations known, we will focus on the eight mentioned in the Bible, focusing on the meaning of the cross.
Massive crowds gathered to follow Jesus, including a number of women, who were wailing with sorrow over him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me. You should be weeping for yourselves and your children. The day is coming when it will not be the women with children who are blessed but those who are childless. Then you will say, ‘The barren women are the most fortunate! Those who have never given birth and never nursed a child—they are more fortunate than we, for they will never see their children put to death!’ And the people will cry out for the mountains and hills to fall on top of them to hide them from all that is to come. For if this is what they do to the living Branch, what will they do with the dead ones?”
Jesus speaks to the women.
Not all who were following Jesus on the road to the cross were spectators to a crucifixion. As the passage mentions, a number of women were wailing with sorrow over him. Those who truly believed, were anguished over their Messiah walking to His death. But Jesus, badly beaten and weary, made a point to speak to the women. He didn’t want them to weep for Him. Although He would face pain and suffering in physical form, He was not afraid to die.
His purpose on earth was coming to fulfillment and He would soon rise again and sit at His Father’s right hand. Not only was He dying for their sins (and ours), but He also unselfishly told the women not to cry for Him. He goes on to tell them to instead weep for themselves and their children. Strange, right? Not at all. Jesus was foretelling of the pain and suffering they, and future generations, would also endure. If they were crucifying the living branch (who we know to be Jesus), what would they do with the dead branches (His followers).
We live in a sinful world and satan is trying his best to convince us there is no hope. Just listen to the news and one can walk away feeling disheartened. Jesus gave His life for us on that cross so we could be forgiven and have hope, knowing He is with us walking with us through the sinful world we live in. Evil will not win. “Look, Jesus is coming with the clouds! Everyone will see him, even those who pierced him. All peoples of the earth will cry loudly because of him. Yes, this will happen! Amen.”
Ref: John 15:1-4; Revelation 1:7