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Fewer Tears

How we can help to reduce violence.


As we come to the Table of our Lord today, I invite you to explore with me a passage from God’s Word that seems especially relevant to our culture today. To set the context, Jesus and his disciples are making their way toward the city of Jerusalem for the start of what Christians have come to call Holy Week. In this week ahead, Jesus will give his life upon a cross to pay the price of human sin and open the way for human beings to find a new communion with God. In his self-sacrificing servant love, Christ will set a pattern for a new kind of human community that will change history. It’s going to be a very big week.

So, Jesus and his disciples have made their way from the Jordan River valley near Jericho, up through the hills toward the mountain city of Jerusalem. Finally, they crest the last ridge, called the Mount of Olives, and are confronted with a spectacular view across the Kidron Valley of the Temple Mount and the gleaming Holy City. Generations of pilgrims have made this journey before them and the view from this place often inspired people to break out in what was known as a “song of ascent.” But listen to what Luke 19:41 tells us: “As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it …”

Jesus Is Crying

Why is Jesus crying? For two reasons.

First, Christ cries because the people of that city—and indeed the nation of Israel itself—is in such trouble. The country is in a perpetual state of conflict and confusion. Roving bands of marauders prey on travelers, making even normal trips unsafe (Jesus refers to this in his famous story of the Jericho Road). Gangs of armed Zealots launch surprise attacks on Caesar’s forces. Traumatized ...

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Dan Meyer is pastor of Christ Church.us, a nondenominational, multisite church with locations in Oak Brook and Lombard, Illinois.

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