26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ 31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
The scene is Jesus, beaten and bloodied, on the way to be finally hung on the cross he was carrying. They randomly rope Simon the Cyrene (poor guy) in to carry the cross behind Jesus. And there are the women…”wailing for him” the scriptures say.
What is striking to me is Jesus’ words that follow. It’s an incredible eye-witness moment. Striking, and abrupt. In the middle of his pain, agony, and with the dark weight of death looming ever so closely over him, Jesus has clarity of mind enough to warn these mourning women…Don’t miss who I am, and what is happening in these days.
I sense an incredible compassion from Jesus here. A firm compassion. But still, compassion. Jesus, on his way to the cross, wavering in and out of pain-fuelled delerium, is still giving the people He was sent to opportunity to realise the error of their ways, consider who He really was, and repent.
I am challenged and inspired. Even in the deepest moments of His pain and torment, Christ was thinking of His people. And the same Christ of this deepest love is at work in our world today. If Christ, on his pained way to the Cross, was still thinking of others and reaching out to them with love, grace and truth, then there is no circumstance in my life that should prevent me from doing the same. I am called by this passage to be prepared to selflessly care and speak the truth in love to those who need to hear it. Even if they are sending me to my proverbial cross.
Lord, fill me with your love, keep me aware each day of who you send me to, and help me to live your selfless love in actions and in words.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh