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?”
Do not mourn for me?
As Jesus is lead away to be killed in the most unjust event in human history, there are those who are brave enough to express their love and support of Jesus through wailing out loud about his mistreatment and impending painful death.
I wonder if I would be brave enough to even be there? Would I be so fearful for my own life that I couldn’t be there?
Jesus tells them not to mourn. But what he references isn’t the risk to their lives on that day, but instead an event that would happen almost exactly 40 years in the future (I believe Jesus was crucified on 7th April A.D. 30). When Jesus says “For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” I believe he is talking about the destruction of the temple at Passover, on the 9th of April in A.D. 70, recorded by Jewish historian Josephus. It has been reported that up to 1.1 million people died in the siege.
Even though Jesus was going to the cross as a completely innocent person, he knew his purpose and he knew what his death and resurrection would achieve. As he calls me today to follow him, I am challenged to reflect on my life and its meaning and impact.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware