Today’s Reading: Luke 19:41-48
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Interesting, isn’t it? Jerusalem contains the word “peace” (salem) in its name yet does not recognize the peace of God in the flesh as He prepares to enter her gates.
As Jesus wept at the death of His friend Lazarus and the lack of faith that doubted Jesus could call him out of the grave, so Jesus weeps over a people who cannot know and see (believe) that He has come to bring them peace. But those tears do not keep Him from His appointed task. In Luke 18, Jesus told His disciples what would take place in Jerusalem: “See we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day, he will rise” (Luke 18:31-33). Ironically, Luke tells us that this news was hidden from the disciples’ eyes as well.
Why would these things be hidden from their eyes? Because Jesus needed to fulfill His work. Nothing of what He said or did would make complete sense until He died and rose from the dead. The people of Jerusalem sought peace by other means. The disciples wanted a “Son of Man” who would be triumphant, not someone who would die nailed to a Roman cross. We tend to make our own “peace” treaties with God on our own terms.
But it is the Cross and, finally, the resurrection of Jesus that changes everything. Your eyes have been opened to see and your hearts made new to believe: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Jesus does not now weep over you. He rejoices over you who are baptized and receive
His peace! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, You declare Your almighty power above all in showing mercy and pity. Mercifully grant us such a measure of Your grace that we may obtain Your gracious promises and be make partakers of Your heavenly treasures; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Rev. David Magruder is pastor of Peace With Christ Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, CO.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.