Friday, September 16, 2011

Luke 13: O Jerusalem

One of the grave dangers in reading the Bible is to sit in judgment against those that failed to do what's right in the narrative. "Those silly Israelites, grumbling after God brought them out of Egypt," or "those evil Pharisees; they're such hypocrites!" The judgment may be right, but if you don't apply it to your own heart and life, you've missed a significant point. I often think about how I probably would have followed Jesus for the tangible, earthly benefits if I lived in first century Palestine. I would have missed that he is Lord and Savior, and I would have been disappointed that my hope for food and health was gone when he died. In many ways today I am still a Pharisee. I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit; he has opened my eyes to see how precious the grace and salvation Jesus bestows on us is, for in my flesh I would have missed it all.

Luke 13 has one of those passages. We could read it and sit in judgment against Jerusalem.
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 were not willing! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luke 13:34-35).
Those silly Jews, killing their prophets and crucifying their Lord! But wait, it was my sin that nailed him to the cross too.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:3-6 ESV)
And in this life, we're never done learning our lesson. Think about the great atrocities mankind has committed in the last century. Think about your very sin this day. This is one of the reasons I like Casting Crowns' song While You Were Sleeping. We as a nation are still missing our Savior the way Jerusalem missed him 2,000 years ago. Don't miss what he has done for your soul.

If you would like to listen to the song, you can find it on YouTube.

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